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Wi-Fi Remains Attractive Choice for City-wide Wireless Networks

Novarum issues 1H 2007 top wireless broadband services rankings: tests show average Metro Wi-Fi performance twice that of 3G cellular data services

San Francisco – October 16, 2007
Novarum today announces the immediate availability of the current set of reports from the Novarum Wireless Broadband Review (NWBR) covering surveys of networks in sixteen cities through the first half of 2007. The NWBR is unique multi-city survey which evaluates wireless data services based on Wi-Fi, WiMAX or 3G cellular technologies from a user’s perspective. The Summary Report for the first half of 2007 is available now as well as new city reports on Metro Wi-Fi and cellular data services in Philadelphia PA, Portland OR, Rochelle IL, Santa Clara CA, Tempe AZ and Mountain View CA.

“The balance of the analysis from our Wireless Broadband Review shows that Metro Wi-Fi is far from dead - it is simply entering a more rational phase of development,” said Ken Biba, Novarum Co-Founder. “A useful Metro Wi-Fi network costs more to deploy than has been hyped, but may indeed deliver a higher quality of service at a lower cost than other wireless broadband alternatives.”

Novarum’s rankings of the top wireless broadband networks and the “Best of Wireless” awards are now available on the Novarum web site at http://www.novarum.com/Rankings.

“Over the past year we have tested more than fifty wireless services in different cities for the Novarum Wireless Broadband Review and collected a tremendous amount of data and insight. The rankings that we are publishing today are taken from the NWBR 1H 2007 Summary Report, which includes in-depth analysis and identifies trends that are emerging in the wireless broadband market” stated Phil Belanger, Novarum Co-Founder. “Metro Wi-Fi networks continue to deliver higher performance than 3G cellular, but cellular data services provide better service availability within their coverage area.”

The NWBR 1H 2007 Summary Report also features Novarum’s Best of Wireless 2007, including:

  • Best Overall Cellular Data Service - Verizon in Mountain View
  • Best Overall Metro Wi-Fi Service - Toronto OneZone
  • Most Improved Metro Wi-Fi Service - EarthLink’s Feather network in Philadelphia where the investment in additional node density points the way to creating a wireless network that users desire

Other Novarum findings from the NWBR 1H 2007 Summary Report include:

  • The choice of subscriber client device makes a key difference in service availability and performance for Metro Wi-Fi networks.
  • Cellular data services improve performance - the deployment of 1xEVDO Rev A and HSPA increase performance by 30% overall and more for uploads.
  • Technology to the rescue - Wi-Fi subscriber clients based on the new standard IEEE 802.11n dramatically improve metro Wi-Fi network performance and user experience.
  • 3G cellular data services are still not ubiquitous in the North America. True 3G had a 60% Service Availability in the cities tested.
  • Metro Wi-Fi continues to deliver twice the performance of 3G cellular data services on average.
    Metro Wi-Fi node density is increasing. 40 is not enough - a successful Metro Wi-Fi network needs at least 40 nodes per square mile to deliver a service that is attractive to customers.

Individual reports from the Novarum Wireless Broadband Review are now available on the Novarum web site. Access to the entire review is available through an annual subscription. With an annual subscription, clients receive advisory services from Novarum analysts as well as early access to all of the NWBR reports. Novarum also conducts private testing and analysis of wireless networks for cities or service providers to validate that their networks meet coverage, performance and service level requirements. For more information and the full listing of network performance and availability rankings, please visit www.novarum.com/NWBR.

About Novarum
Novarum Inc. provides comprehensive broadband wireless advisory, analysis and testing services. Novarum’s technical, business and executive experience in the wireless industry make it the ideal partner for service providers, municipalities, investors, enterprises or wireless infrastructure vendors seeking trusted information on broadband wireless technologies and services. The company is headquartered in San Francisco. For more information, please visit www.novarum.com


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Press Contact:

Phil Belanger