Airband, a provider of wireless broadband to businesses, will be expanding its coverage area in three North Carolina markets after landing $12.5 million in new financing.

Airband, which utilizes WiMAX technology delivered through line-of-sight technology, is based in Dallas. It entered North Carolina markets through the purchase of WiMAX assets owned by Windchannel Communications.

Expansion efforts will include the hiring of an additional sales person in Raleigh and Charlotte, according to Paul Reams, Airband’s business development executive in Raleigh. Engineers could be added as well. “We’ll gauge that on business demand,” Reams told WRAL Local Tech Wire.

WiMAX service has been getting a great deal of publicity in recent months, especially as more and more metropolitan areas begin to offer city-supported access. EarthLink, which is based in Atlanta, has been a high-profile driver in that market. However, its services are geared primarily to consumers and smaller businesses.

Clearwire, another wireless provider utilizing WiMAX technology, focuses more on consumers and businesses, and Reams said Airband does not consider the firm competition.

Unlike WiFi, which is of shorter range and does not rely on line of sight, WiMAX technology requires point-to-point links.

“We enter the market at T-1 level of service and up,” he explained. T-1 is 1.54 megabits of bandwidth per second.

Pricing starts at $350 per month for 2 megabits of bandwidth.

Airband offers access in parts of the Triangle as well as Charlotte and Greensboro plus markets in 14 other markets.

“We will be adding base stations, or points of presence, to greatly increase our coverage,” reams said. “We will be getting on more rooftops and cell towers.”

The firm has some 200 customers in North Carolina and 3,500 nationwide, according to Reams.

“We enter the market at T-1 level of service and up,” he explained. T-1 is 1.54 megabits of bandwidth per second.

Pricing starts at $350 per month for 2 megabits of bandwidth.

M/C Venture Partners out of Boston led the Series C funding for Airband. It is a new investor. Existingn investors Sevin Rosen Funds, Crescendo Ventures, Key Venture Partners and Dolphin Equity Partners also were involved in the round.

Airband offers much more than bandwidth service, including Voice over Internet Protocol telephony and remote data protection. The funds will be used to add additional services, said Mark Spagnolo, Airband’s chief executive officer.

“Airband’s highly reliable and scalable fixed-wireless platform gives companies the ability to manage all of their services over one connection that meets bandwidth and application needs with a responsiveness that traditional providers can’t match,” Spagnolo said in a statement.

According to Airband, it is the largest fixed wireless broadband provider to businesses in the U.S.