Perth joins Adelaide with $50m WiMax network

Speeds of up to 20Mbps claimed

Following last month’s news that Adelaide will get a $3 million WiMax mobile broadband network, the Seven Network has announced plans to build a $50 million WiMax network in Perth.

Seven’s new wireless division Vividwireless will operate the new network, with services expected to be available in March 2010.

With more devices supporting WiMax technology, these new networks could pave the way for more mobile broadband options.

The market is dominated by the traditional mobile carriers using their GSM networks to transfer data.

Seven has talked up the WiMax network as being a “4G” mobile service where, like Wi-Fi, packet data is used for Internet access and voice is an application running over it.

According to Seven, Perth is under served for mobile broadband and WiMax is the best technology to fill the void.

Download speeds are yet to be tested, but throughput of 4Mbps (up to 20Mbps) directly to a notebook or mobile device (both must support WiMax) are already being spoken of.

In October 2007 Seven made a takeover bid for pre-WiMax mobile broadband provider Unwired. Unwired became a wholly owned subsidiary of Seven in February 2008.

Seven director Ryan Stokes will serve as Vividwireless chairman.

Stokes said the new network will boost Seven’s digital platform and multimedia solutions portfolio.

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