Unwired claims the need for traditional Internet access will provide the driving force behind uptake of its forthcoming 4G services.
The wireless ISP and Seven Network subsidiary, Unwired, padded out the list of vendors involved its 4G network rollout in Perth this week. It is building and managing the network for wholly-owned subsidiary, Vividwireless, using WiMax technology.
“There is still growing demand for good old fashioned broadband access in the home – because Perth has lots of DSL blackspots – and on the move,” an Unwired spokesperson said. “There is no need for new killer applications to justify people buying more data. The growth in demand for wireless data is exponential here and around the world.”
Verizon Business has also signed on to provide redundancy Internet access, while Optus will supply optic fibre links from 15 hub sites to the point of presence (PoP) that will be in the Perth iX datacentre.
The quartet join Huawei, which was selected in early September from a list of 13 vendors to supply mobile WiMax equipment. DragonWave was also named microwave backhaul supplier for the planned 150 base stations last week. Future Long Term Evolution (LTE) hardware, seen as the imminent heir of 3G networks, is supported by Huawei.
Unwired currently offers services exclusively in Sydney and Melbourne and plans to expand its 4G network into other capital cities besides Perth. No specific timeframe, however, has been released.
“How and where we decide on other locations is still a matter we are keeping to ourselves,” the spokesperson said. “At the moment, our focus is through the Vividwireless service and to deliver what we promised to the people of Perth, which is a genuine 4G wireless experience.”
According to a statement release by VividWireless, 4G wireless broadband customers will have access to average speeds of 4Mbps and peak speeds of 20Mbps. The company has yet to finalise its wholesale go-to-market strategy.
While the viability of WiMax has been hotly disputed, Unwired has distanced itself from the conversation, preferring to question the relevance of the widely adopted 3G wireless network. The ISP saw the limitations of 3G’s capacity provide many opportunities for players of other technologies to step in.
“There is scope for anyone to enter with a data-only solution and we don’t think the individual choice of technology particularly matters,” the spokesperson said. “It’s not a question of whether WiMax is a good or bad choice, the big issue is the 3G networks are being choked by their own success.”