SecureTel, Mobile Broadband gets wireless 'iBurst'

The long-awaited commercial launch of Personal Broadband Australia’s (PBBA) iBurst wireless service has been announced, with newly signed wholesale distributor ISP SecureTel and broadband reseller Mobile Broadband releasing new iBurst products this week.

The SecureTel iBurst service will be available from this Friday across Sydney through two wireless broadband products: SecureTel iBurst Internet service and SecureTel iBurst Private IP.

In a press statement, SecureTel managing director David Stevens said the ISP was already taking orders for the iBurst service.

“We are techies here at SecureTel, and we are quick to identify the technology we want for ourselves and our clients,” he said.

“We have every reason to believe that wireless, mobile broadband will be spectacularly popular.”

Both the SecureTel iBurst Internet and Private IP (BPIP) service are available for companies in three different sizes: 1 to 50 users, 51 to 100 users, and over 100 users.

Companies wishing to sign up to the standard Internet service with 1 to 50 users will be charged $180 per month and incur a setup fee of $499 for each individual user.

The iBurst Secured Internet plan for 51 to 100 user terminals will cost $170 a month, with a $449 setup fee, and those companies requiring over 100 user terminals will be able to sign up to the service for $160 a month, and incur a $399 setup fee. These costs apply for each user connecting to the service.

All SecureTel iBurst Internet plans feature 500MB of included downloads per month and offer connectivity speeds of up to 1Mbps. Excess download charges will range from 21 to 25 cents per megabyte, depending on number of users.

Alternatively, companies can access the iBurst service under SecureTel’s Private IP plans (BPIP), which include unlimited downloads. BPIP plans are available for $400 (1 to 50 users), $380 (51 to 100 users) and $360 (100+ users) per user, with each incurring the same setup fee as prescribed for the standard Internet service. Again, access speeds reach up to 1Mbps.

iBurst makes its mark in Australia

The technology behind iBurst was originally crafted by US company ArrayComm, and has been developed locally by a consortium of vendors, including Vodafone Australia, TCI and ComWorks, a subsidiary of 3Com.

Since its initial launch in Australia in 2002, the iBurst technology has undergone months of trials and testing. In one of the most recent assessments of the service, broadband service reseller Mobile Broadband (formerly Think Broadband) offered Sydney users the opportunity to trial the iBurst service for free (see here for the story).

Mobile Broadband managing director Mark Dodgson said Mobile will be releasing commercial products based on the iBurst service on Friday.

While both Mobile Broadband and SecureTel will be utilising the same network, Mobile will be customising its products to suit different types of companies under its Partnership Program, as well as offer different connectivity options to the iBurst network, Dodgson said.

This will include bundled solutions such as video-conferencing, VPNs and content management services for mobile work forces, as well as virus scanning, Web hosting and remote backup, he said.

In addition, one of its customer has high-volume requirements which have led the company to install a 2Mbps bandwidth link to the iBurst network, he said.

Mobile Broadband’s iBurst pricing starts from $174.95 per month on an 18-month contract. A connection fee of $99 per user also applies, and user terminals will be available for $399.

Customers will also be able to access the Mobile Broadband service contract-free for the same price every month, but will pay $599 per user terminal (plus $99 setup fee). Mobile Broadband will also offer a short-term, three-month service free of monthly usage charges for $1199 per user terminal (plus $99 setup fee).

All Mobile Broadband plans are available with a 10-day trial period and feature a 500MB download allowance. Excess downloads will be charged at 15 cents per megabyte.

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Nadia Cameron
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