Wireless ISP, BigAir, has plans to rollout its own LTE network.
The company currently uses WiMax for entry-level sub-50Mbps download speed product offerings mainly for SMEs. Its high-end offering uses proprietary wireless systems and can achieve download speeds of up to 2.5Gbps.
BigAir deals exclusively with fixed-wireless broadband products. Like NBN Co, the ISP is keen to deploy a fixed TD-LTE solution.
“In the future, we will start deploying some LTE systems,” BigAir CEO, Jason Ashton, told ARN. “We will probably see this happening in the next year or two.”
But he stressed LTE will only be used for entry-level offerings. BigAir will continue to use proprietary wireless systems for the high-end solutions.
Ashton doesn’t see any significant challenges in deploying LTE and will probably continue to use WiMax for several years.
“We will start deploying systems soon that will support both WiMax and LTE,” he said. “Then over time that will probably transition completely to LTE once there is enough equipment out there.
“Right now the problem we have is there is very limited amount of LTE end-user equipment.”
But LTE will operate similarly to WiMax equipment just with improved performance.
LTE is able to carry data at higher speeds and over greater distances compared to WiMax.
“They’re not hugely different,” Ashton said. “They are just slightly different software and basically you can buy equipment today that can operate WiMax or LTE depending on what software you run on it.”
He doesn’t see any dramatic changes to the BigAir business as the ISP progressively rolls out LTE.
“We can run all those networks in parallel so it won’t be a massive swap out,” Ashton said.