The National Broadband Network (NBN) fixed-wireless network trial will commence in April, according to NBN Co.
Communications vendor, Ericsson, nabbed the $1.1 billion contract to help NBN Co build a 4G fixed-wireless network in June 2011.
Two months later, Communications Minister, Senator Stephen Conory, revealed the first five locations to get the fixed-wireless network service.
Network testing will take place in Armidale. NBN Co’s most recent plan is to make the trial fixed-wireless service available in Armidale, Tamworth (both in NSW) and Toowoomba (QLD) first, followed by Ballarat (VIC), Darwin (NT) and Geraldton (WA).
The trial is expected to last six months and network testing will occur in Armidale first.
Maximum download speeds for the network is offer 12Mbps downstream and 1Mbps upstream for wholesale ISPs.
“This will allow service providers to offer end-users with a highly reliable and potentially faster broadband service than what is currently available in these first release locations,” NBN Co said in a statement. “… We anticipate higher speeds becoming available as technology advances and the network is upgraded over time.” NBN Co’s fixed-wireless service is not available in town centres. The company will not charge any fees for the service during the six-month trial.
Some ISPs such as Rivertel have already started appealing to customers to participate in the network trial.