Sydney ISPs jump on the Unwired bandwagon

Sydney-based ISPs have shown their enthusiasm for wireless broadband with two service providers already signed to the new carrier-grade broadband network from Unwired, which officially launched its services last Thursday.Swiftbroadband and Exetel have announced that they will offer wireless broadband services via the Unwired network, which, according to the provider, covers 90 percent of Sydney's population equating to 1.

Sydney-based ISPs have shown their enthusiasm for wireless broadband with two service providers already signed to the new carrier-grade broadband network from Unwired, which officially launched its services last Thursday.

Swiftbroadband and Exetel have announced that they will offer wireless broadband services via the Unwired network, which, according to the provider, covers 90 percent of Sydney's population equating to 1.2 million homes and 240,000 small-to-medium enterprises.

Unwired said it took seven months to roll out its AU$33 million service. The company claims its wireless broadband network is the largest in Australia and the biggest such "non-line of sight" network in the world.

Swiftbroadband said it will begin offering wireless services on 20 September this year for a starting price of AU$59 a month, which supports speeds of 512Kbps and allocates a download allowance of 2GB.

The premium Swiftbroadband Wireless plans cost a maximum of AU$114 per month, allowing 20GB of downloads and speeds up to 1042Kbps. The wireless modem costs subscriber AU$195, with an additional AU$129 for service establishment. Additional charges include an excess data fee of AU.4 cents per supplementary MB.

Exetel Wireless broadband prices begin at AU$45 for a connection speed of 512Kbps with a download allowance of 3GB, and go up to a maximum monthly fee of AU$110 per month on a plan that offer speeds of 1024 kbps and a monthly download allowance of 30GB. Exetel also offer a daily "Free Download Period" of 12pm to 8am.

The wireless access modem from Exetel costs AU$190 and excess download usage is charged at AU$3 per GB.

Unwired is also offering wireless broadband direct to customers, with "Kick Start" plans starting at AU$34.95 for a 256Kbps connection and a download allowance of 300MB. Unwired's most expensive plan costs AU$119.95 per month for a 1024Kbps connection speed and 10GB of downloads. The Unwired modem costs AU$189 and set up fee is free on the 12 month plan.

Following the Unwired launch, OzEmail and Personal Broadband Australia (PBA) announced the release of an OzEmail-branded, iBurst wireless broadband offering. The company said it will be available from next week, but only in "limited quantities".

Unwired said it intends to roll out its network across other capital cities and main regional areas once it has established its customer base in Sydney. The company adds that it will also pilot a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service this year, and possibly launch a commercial VoIP offering in the first half of 2005.

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