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100 people to trial WiMAX for BT

Belfast and Birmingham fingered

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A hundred people are to take part in WiMAX trials in Belfast and Birmingham as BT tests the water for wireless broadband.

The UK's dominant fixed line telco is hooking up with US-based Navini Networks to carry out the pilots, which will run until March 2006.

BT is looking to test the commercial viability and customer experience of wireless broadband.

A spokesman for BT said the tie-up with Navini was "not a strategic partnership [but] one of many vendors we're testing WiMAX products with".

Navini's WiMAX systems are already being used in Europe, Australia, Asia-Pacific, Africa, and the Americas.

In a recent interview BT chairman Sir Christopher Bland was bullish about wireless broadband - he expects WiMAX to "take the place of current 3G mobile phones".

He added that BT would begin a WiMAX service at the end of 2006. ®

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