Revolutionary broadband: Unwired

Unwired Australia is aiming to make its Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) broadband service avail-able to around 70 per cent of Australian house-holds. At press time, coverage was limited to a single Balmain-based transmitter, but a full Sydney metro rollout is planned by mid-August, with other regions to follow.

Unwired Australia wireless broadband

Unlike Melbourne's similar Alpha----link Wire--less trial ser-vice, Unwired Australia's 802.16-based transceiver technology doesn't require line-of-sight. It doesn't need a phone line, nor will you need body corporate per-mission for any cable installation. You simply need the supplied (and chunky) USB 2.0- or Ethernet-based modem. An internal power pack lets you use the modem anywhere there's a signal, while a three-layer security and encrypted key system gives you wired-equivalent security.

Installation is simple and quick: just run the CD and plug in the modem. Connecting to a network hub requires a little more effort and a standard Ethernet cable, rather than the supplied crossover.

This revolutionary product is not with-out its drawbacks. The highest plan allows only 10GB of downloads per month, before your connection is shaped to 64Kbps. Speed also proved unimpressive; our supposed 1024Kbps (1Mbps) connection rarely surpassed 700Kbps, though this should improve as the service matures.

In brief: Unwired Australia wireless broadband

3 1/2 stars out of five

This hugely exciting technology has the potential to break Telstra's communications dominance. Our rating is based on the initial test roll-out, but we expect service to improve over time.

Price: $189 for modem (setup costs vary)
Vendor: Unwired Australia
Phone: 1300 761 881

Monthly Plans

Plan name 256/64Kbps 512/128Kbps 1024/256Kbps Downloads at full speed*
Kick Start $34.95 n/a n/a 300MB
Break Free $44.95 $59.95 n/a 1GB
Unleashed $64.95 $89.95 $119.95 10GB

*connection shaped to 64Kbps when exceeded

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