Burst Wireless Busts into Broadband Scene

Personnel fallout from converging technologies and corporate acquisitions
has combined to produce an interesting Washington-based wireless initiative.


Telecom pedigreed former heads of McCaw Cellular, AT&T Wireless Inc., Lucent Technologies Inc., Nextel Communications Inc., and NEXTLINK Communications Inc.
hitched-up Monday to deliver Burst
Wireless Inc.


The wireless offspring of the former mobile communications and Internet
companies’ executives plan to deploy a portable, broadband Internet access
solution for high-speed hungry consumers by this time next year.


Burst Wireless was also awarded an experimental license from the Federal Communications Commission to begin
field trials of its broadband wireless network in Washington’s Olympic
Peninsula this summer.


The new firm will be lead by former NEXTLINK president
and chief operating officer, George Tronsrue. Mark Hamilton, former
president of international development and operations at AT&T Wireless
Services will serves as vice chairman of Burst Wireless.


Telecom veteran Tronsrue said Burst Wireless would revolutionize the way
people connect to the Internet by combining existing and innovative
technologies.


“Burst will provide freedom and control to Internet users, the biggest
thing to hit the Internet or wireless industry since taking the stationary
cell phone out of the car and putting it into people’s hands,” said


David Hsiao, formerly of Nextel, co-founded Burst. He’s
joined by chief technical officer Richard Compton from Lucent Technologies,
Mark Schultz, former senior vice president at AT&T
Wireless, Steven Pollis, former vice president at NEXTLINK, and Susan
Salazar, former NEXTLINK chief people officer.


Burst Wireless is developing facilities-based wireless services designed to
target residential demand for portable broadband Internet access nationwide.


The company’s service portfolio is constructed around a plug-and-play
design that facilitates quick access to the Internet through wireless modems.


Field trials of Burst’s wireless network are scheduled to take place in
Port Angeles, Washington. The firm will utilize a specially designed truck
containing base station equipment to handle wireless signals and network
traffic. The tests are designed to validate its deployment method, user
provisioning and customer experience.


Richard Compton, Burst chief technical officer said it was time to break
out of the lab and test its wireless connectivity in the field.


“We are taking proven technology from the lab and building an operational
system in the field to demonstrate our unique solution,” Compton said. “We
believe our trial users will enjoy the value of complete Internet
portability, making it difficult for them to imagine being tethered to a
single location.”


AT&T Corp. acquired McCaw
Cellular in a $11.5 billion deal completed in 1994. NEXTLINK and Concentric Network Corp.
closed a $2.54 billion equity value merger earlier this month.


Burst will likely leverage its executive’s family tree to build upon future
relationships to deploy its broadband wireless services after test results
are completed later this year.


At stake is Burst’s ability to ramp-up and grab hold of a piece of the
wireless Web market, which Cahners In-Stat
Group
estimates will be populated by nearly nine million users in three
years.


Initial plans include for its network testing that utilizes cellular

phone
linking technologies are designed to validate Burst’s 144 megabits per
second data transmission speeds. The firm intends to use the test results
to develop higher data transmission speeds for commercial release in about
18-months.

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