Broadband wireless access vendor Airspan Networks and partner Pinnacle Wireless were selected by the New Jersey Transit Authority (NJTA) to deploy a statewide WiMAX network that will host a number of applications, such as variable message signs, traffic monitoring, CCTV cameras, emergency communications for the highway patrol and roadway weather information systems.

The project consists of more than 100 WiMAX sectors operating in the 4.9 GHz band — licensed spectrum reserved for public-safety services — that will be deployed along 360 miles of the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway.

Both Airspan and Pinnacle also have partnered on a number of significant New Jersey WiMAX ventures that include public-safety networks for Hudson County and the city of Harrison.

"We are seeing significant growth in a whole segment of verticals: transportation, public safety, the mobile workforce and enterprise connectivity," said Amit Ancikovsky, president of sales and products with Airspan. He added that these projects are being spurred by a surge in Homeland Security projects. For instance, the company is in the process of installing WiMAX to improve security for bus depots in Philadelphia.

While wireless pundits continue to declare the death of WiMAX in the commercial-carrier market, the technology's inability to become the dominant standard in that market has actually turned into an advantage for markets like public safety, energy and transportation, Ancikovsky said.

"These markets have a completely different set of requirements that carriers don't have," he said. "These are much higher-end applications. Carriers are much more focused on cost reduction."

Indeed, Airspan counts its ability to add features such as traffic shaping, prioritization, video and packet voice as value-added services for these vertical markets.

"We're seeing that a lot of our customers are very focused on the quality and diversity of the applications," Ancikovsky said. "They know what they want to do."

For the NJTA, some of the applications it plans to use could generate additional revenue. For instance, electronic advisory boards could also be used for commercial applications and billboards.

The smart grid is another heavy focus for Airspan. In August, the vendor made an exclusive deal with LightSquared to market the company's 1.4 GHz spectrum for smart-grid services. LightSquared is owned by private equity firm Harbinger Capital and is planning to deploy a wholesale LTE network using satellite and terrestrial spectrum.