Wireless broadband supplier Unwired Australia has finally expanded its service to mobile users, with a limited trial of a new Wireless Card for notebook computers. Previously, the service was available only via a desktop modem.
The card is being released in a staged trial across Sydney to gauge performance and network coverage, with the aim of a full commercial launch early next year.
"We do not believe there will be any issues, but our priority is on meeting customers' expectations when we do launch across the network," said Unwired CEO, David Spence.
The trial period will run till 31 January 2006 and has been offered to selected customers in Parramatta, North Sydney and parts of the inner west. Spence declined to release customer numbers, as the product had only been in the marketplace for a short time.
Selected customers received a significantly discounted Wireless Card for the initial stage, as well as a 750Kbps/128Kbps plan.
"The wireless broadband market is showing strong growth and as more consumers switch to laptops, we expect demand for products such as our Wireless Card to increase," said Spence.
Although BigPond has a similar device on the market, Spence said the Unwired Wireless Card would feature the same performance levels. However, he added that it would be available in Sydney only until coverage had been extended.
"Our internal testing shows that coverage is similar to that of the desktop modem, but customer feedback will give us a better indication of the differences in coverage, if any," he said.
Unwired had previously announced that the Wireless Card would be released in June this year, but the date had been pushed back.
"The launch of the Wireless Card was held off until we were 100 per cent happy with the product we were offering our customers," Spence said.
Full commercial pricing will be announced when the card is launched across the Unwired Sydney network in early 2006.