iBurst at the seams: PBA looks to 8Mbps

Wireless broadband wholesaler Personal Broadband Australia (PBA) is bursting at the seams with growth in business and geographical coverage, plus plans for accelerated services over the next three years.

PBA officially launched its interstate iBurst wireless broadband network in Melbourne, Brisbane, The Gold Coast and Canberra this week.

Announcing new channel partners using the iBurst wireless network, PBA CEO Jim Cooney, said: "We now cover over 1000 square km of Melbourne, and a similar proportion of Canberra and Brisbane."

"We are also continually building our coverage in the Sydney region where we are switching on two to three new base stations a week."

The PBA iBurst network, the first of its kind in the world, was officially launched in Sydney in March last year.

Cooney added that Wollongong and Newcastle were covered by the Sydney spectrum, and it was "just a matter of time" before coverage was expanded to these regions as well.

"We own the spectrum for Hobart, Adelaide, Perth and Darwin and are looking to start deploying a network in these areas as well sometime this year, bearing in mind that it is not a quick process."

The iBurst system was originally developed by US company Arraycomm and uses smart antenna technology to deliver Internet services across a 1.9GHz spectrum band, providing more mobility than modem-based services.

iBurst currently offers 1Mbps speeds and the technology roadmap for the iBurst service will see that double in the next year.

"We knew that it would not be enough to go to market with a 1Mbps service and just leave it at that, so we will be offering 2Mbps speeds in the next year, 4Mbps in the next two years and 8Mbps in three years time," Cooney said.

PBA has added four resellers in the last month, with the most recent partner being People Telecom.

"We now have well over 12 partners, which we expect to double in the next six months," Cooney said.

"However, we don't want hundreds of partners because then they will start cutting into each other's markets. We're looking to secure 20 to 30 quality channel and retail partners." Cooney said he planned to extend into the mass retail and distribution space. PBA signed its first retail partnership with Harvey Norman, in mid-December last year.

"It won't be a shift into the mass consumer market so much as an expansion," he said.

"Our core market will still be SME and enterprise."

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