Seven Network subsidiary, vividwireless, has switched on Australia’s first 4G wireless broadband network in Perth, WA.
The network has been built using WiMAX and LTE hardware from China-based vendor, Huawei, and delivered within the specified deadline of early 2010. The network is running on 150 base stations using the mobile WiMAX 802.16e standard, according to Huawei.
“Many did not believe us when we said we would launch in March,” vividwireless CEO, Martin Mercer, said in a statement. “In six months our team has done what other companies struggle to do in twice the time.”
It was built by Unwired using a quartet of vendors announced in late September. The 4G provider has also inked retail partnerships with Harvey Norman and Dick Smith.A service centre has also been established with 35 staff.
“We will be offering prices that are competitive with current fixed ADSL offerings, with the added advantage of mobility," he said. “This is a massive step forward that we expect will dramatically increase the uptake of mobile computing.”
Customers have the option to choose between pre-paid, monthly subscriptions and fixed term contracts. However, Mercer noted there were several sites that were yet to be commissioned.
According to an Unwired spokesperson, Sydney and Melbourne can expect to access 4G vividwireless services in August. Brisbane, Canberra and Adelaide will be next on the agenda.
In February, Mercer was appointed Unwired’s CEO, taking over from David Spence. Both companies are Seven Network subsidiaries.
The viability of WiMAX technology is being debated, with many experts claiming the technology is not viable for Australia.