Unwired brings channel into wireless broadband play

Wireless broadband provider, Unwired, has revealed a multi-channel strategy for its Sydney service, which is set to launch in July.

CEO David Spence said retail giant Harvey Norman would supply its services, along with ISPs and other channel partners. The company will also sell direct.

Spence, a former director of OzEmail, said convenience and ease of access would be key selling points. The Unwired broadband service would be a highly portable plug and play system.

It would just take a couple of minutes to set up in the home, he said.

The cost of the service would be comparable to DSL, Spence said.

Unwired, which was acquired by the Breathe Group late last year, is rolling out a $33 million network of 75 base stations across Sydney for the launch. The investment was fully funded from more thanr $100 million it raised last December.

"This is such a small cost to pay for such capacity and coverage- and compete with ADSL and cable," Spence told an Ericsson business breakfast in Sydney on Tuesday.

Trials in Balmain began in December and have since extended to suburbs around North Sydney. Within weeks about 160 square kilometres of Sydney will be covered, representing 95 per cent of the city's population and 1.2 million households. A voice service will follow by the end of the year.

In addition to retail partner Harvey Norman, Spence said Unwired was also negotiating with potential wholesale partners and ISPs, who would sell a rebranded service.

Wireless would hold strong appeal for retailers and wholesalers, providing an alternative to dominant player, Telstra, Spence said.

"The recent price reductions are about slowing down the alternative of our local loop," he said. "Telstra has moved aggressively [receiving a competition notice from the ACCC]. The ISPs are dependent on Telstra and restricted in terms of cost and coverage. Many ISPs are highly agitated. They see Unwired as a complement, serving the non-DSL and cable markets," he said.

Unwired bought part of the spectrum in 2000 to deliver high-speed internet and a voice network to Australia.

The company was in the early stages of planningto offer its service to other capitals and regional centres, Spence said.

He declined to say if and when services would be extended beyond Sydney. But this week, Unwired announced a $15 million deal to access 1400 mobile phone towers across the country.

Ericsson is providing network monitoring, technical and field support for the Unwired service, while Auspan supplies the transmission towers, Cisco the routers and switches, and US-based Navini the "plug and play" box for consumers.

The Australian broadband market was in transition from early adopter phase to maturity, Spence said.

Recent price reductions should fuel its growth further, he said.

Dial-up's share on the Internet access market had now dropped below 90 per cent as people realise they can do more and faster with broadband.

Broadband takeup would be driven by user's desire for an Internet service which could provide colour, digital photography and streaming video, Spence said.

"The dial-up world cannot cope [with this] - it will fade away," he said.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?