Synterra, a national telecommunications service provider in Russia, and Alcatel-Lucent have formed a strategic partnership to deploy the country’s first commercial Universal WiMAX networks.

The project will be conducted in cooperation with regional telecom operators to provide WiMAX access throughout Russia. Alcatel–Lucent won the tender for the delivery of WiMAX infrastructure, based on the latest IEEE 802.16e-2005 standards (also called Rev-e).

The new networks will be deployed by regional operators in the 2.5 GHz spectrum band.

Deployments will cover many towns and cities with an average population of 100,000 inhabitants. The first regional WiMAX networks should be operational in Q4 of 2007. Synterra, which holds a national license, intends to partner with operators in order to cover more than 1,000 Russian cities and towns by the end of 2008.

Vitaly Slizen, general director of Synterra, explained, “We selected Alcatel-Lucent as our strategic partner because its solution is available now and it is flexible, easy-to-deploy and scalable, which will help our partners to bring these services to market more quickly. We see Universal WiMAX as a key technology to support our plan to expand broadband coverage throughout Russia.”

For the supplier, Johan Vanderplaetse, president of Alcatel-Lucent’s activities in the CIS, commented, “This new project with innovative service provider Synterra is a tangible sign of the technological and economic benefits of Universal WiMAX in high-growth markets such as Russia, and represents a major step toward the deployment of high-capability wireless broadband solutions in the market.”