Wireless vendor Alvarion announced the latest upgrade to its BreezeAccess VL system that will let operators prioritize voice-over-IP or video traffic efficiently enough to provide carrier-class offerings of these latency-sensitive services, according to the company.

An orthogonal frequency division multiplexing-based solution operating in the 5 GHz band, BreezeAccess VL 4.0 is a software upgrade designed to handle 260 concurrent VoIP calls in each sector — more than six times previous versions, said Patrick Leary, Alvarion's assistant vice president of marketing.

“Generation 4.0 essentially is almost a complete rewrite of the firmware,” Leary said. “Based on customer feedback, voice and video have become so important to the network that we really wanted to optimize those two applications — in particular, voice from the operator/carrier side and video from the municipal side.”

The BreezeAccess system delivers data rates of 32 Mb/s per sector — “a pretty conservative estimate,” Leary said — and generally maintains that capacity even with a number of concurrent VoIP calls. By comparison, other wireless networks effectively lose almost 50% of their advertised throughput when faced with several VoIP calls, Leary said.

“It used to be that, as you used smaller packets, the actual system capacity would drop because of all the overhead associated with processing those smaller packets,” he said. “What this release does is it flattens out that curve, so you have the same amount of high capacity.”

In addition to the 5 GHz products, the 4.0 firmware version also can be used with Alvarion's 4.9 GHz system, the BreezeAccess 4900, Leary said.