DSL rolls out across the nation as wireless fills the gaps

Although the reach is still limited, DSL roll outs are happening in all states, the price is dropping for regional customers and wireless is on the rise.

Research released by Telsyte last week found that there would be a 30 per cent growth rate over the next year in the number of DSLAMS installed Australia.

Telsyte Managing Director Shara Evans said that a significant portion of the roll outs was being undertaken by providers other than Telstra.

"Telstra certainly dominates. However, the growth is proportionally strong among most infrastructure owners," she said.

The drivers for this growth include Telstra's revised wholesale price structure, which some providers have indicated make their own investment an attractive option, more affordable DSLAMs and the advent of ADSL2/2+ which provides product differentiation based on speed, according to Evans.

"There is also an increasing number of subscribers, which gives alternative providers the volume to justify this investment," she said.

Telsyte has observed that the number of providers publishing separate metropolitan and regional price sheets are declining from last year.

"This could be attributed to the advent of Higher Bandwidth Incentive Scheme (HiBIS), or it could represent service providers deciding independently of HiBIS that they can equalise their backhaul costs across the entire customer base," Evans said.

HiBIS might also be partly responsible for the increase in regional wireless providers, she said.

"The advent of HiBIS is also important here, as it relieves the cost of installing a suitable antenna," Evans said.

Telsyte found more than half the new Wireless Local Loop (WLL) services launched in the last six months were in regional Australia.

Telsyte records show there are over 150 WLL infrastructure owners and resellers, and this number has grown by 28 per cent in the last six months. As with ADSL, the greatest number are in the Eastern States.

"However, there are more regional wireless providers than there are regional ADSL providers in Tasmania, WA, and the Northern Territory," Evans said. Telstra and Optus are both making noise in the consumer mobility and wireless space.

Telstra has announced a suite of new mobile applications, including video message bank in a prelude to its 3G service launch on September 5.

Optus announced more than 1 million subscribers last week to its mobile content service, Optus Zoo.

The service enables Optus mobile customers with WAP access to view content from providers such as MTV and Lonely Planet.

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