Italian defence firm Finmeccanica said Tuesday it had won a 260-million-euro (375-million-dollar) radar contract from the air force that will allow for cutting-edge WiMAX Internet technology in Italy.
Selex Sistemi Integrati, a Finmeccanica company, will deliver a dozen long-range surveillance radars to the air force by 2014, replacing those installed during the late 1980s and early '90s, the company said in a statement.
With an operating range of roughly 500 kilometres (310 miles), the radar systems are also poised to become a key component of NATO's air defence, the statement said.
The new radars will use band D radio frequency -- freeing up frequencies used by the defence ministry on the S band for WiMAX's debut in Italy, it said.
Compared to traditional wireless mobile Internet technology, WiMax -- Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access -- has a higher capacity, operates across greater distances and allows for voice, video, Internet and other mobile services.
The Italian government awarded WiMAX licences to operators last year, but the technology could not be launched until the defence ministry freed up the frequences.
(c) 2009 AFP
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