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.
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
|Plan name||256/64Kbps||512/128Kbps||1024/256Kbps||Downloads at full speed*|
*connection shaped to 64Kbps when exceeded