NBN Co doubles wireless, satellite speeds

NBN Co doubles wireless, satellite speeds

Summary: The maximum download and upload speeds for fixed-wireless and satellite services on the National Broadband Network have been more than doubled to 25Mbps down and 5Mbps up, the Australian government has announced.


Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has announced that the maximum download speeds on offer on the fixed-wireless and satellite services on the National Broadband Network will be more than doubled from 12 megabits-per-second (Mbps) down and 1Mbps up to 25Mbps down and 5Mbps up.

The two services are scheduled to be up and running in 2015, and will serve the last seven percent of premises not covered by the NBN fibre rollout.

Conroy told ABC's AM program this morning that, following a series of tests, NBN Co would offer the 25Mbps/5Mbps service on the fixed wireless service in June this year, and on the satellite service once it has launched in 2015.

"This is a quantum leap for broadband services in the most remotest areas of Australia. It's currently at 12 meg down, 1 meg up. But what we're able to confirm now following all the testing is that we'll be deploying 25[Mpps] down and 5[Mbps] up for our fixed wireless network," he told AM.

"And what's very exciting is that our satellite network will also be able to deliver to the most far-flung Australians a 25 meg download and 5 meg upload speed is about the best in the world — a better service than ADSL 2+ in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and the metro centres."

Currently, NBN Co has an interim satellite service in place that has a maximum of 6Mbps down speed.

As of the end of December 2012, a total of 23,100 are on NBN Co's interim satellite service, while 1,000 are connected through the fixed-wireless long-term evolution portion of the network.

We will update this story when more details are available.

Topics: NBN, Government, Government AU, Australia


Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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  • Excellent news

    Surely with the ability to deliver 25Mbps down and 5Mbps via wireless we dont need fiber to the home? The NBN could turn on 500 houses at a time in a couple of days and so much cheaper.
    • No, no, no, just no.

      This is a great announcement for the 7% of the nation who will be on this infrastructure. As for this making the fiber redundant, just no. The bandwidth is not available on wireless or satellite to service 22,000,000 people. To do so would cost many, many times more than fiber as we'd have to launch 20 times more satellites and roll out 20 time more mobile towers. This is expensive and would damn the entire nation to 25/5 until such time as we eventually went fiber.
      • Hes trolling you

        Noones actually that silly to believe Satellite could replace terrestrial networks.
    • Wouldn't work

      If they tried putting "everyone" on it, they'd get no where near those speeds.
    • No good Sparky

      Please inform yourself more before spurting more Allan "Liar" Jones & Joe "Fatty" Hockey bullcrap.

  • Not that simple sparky_l

    Wireless works well for the low population/denisity areas. But in suburbia/higher denisty areas you would find it pretty unworkable. The bandwidth available via wireless is far, far smaller than fibre, and to make it work a vast number of towers would need to be built.
  • What about the lag & quota

    This is the first bit of good news Ive heard come out from Conroy's & Rudd's napkin plan (NBN Mk2 that they came up with on "That" airline flight a few years ago).
    The only negative is the lag - however there is no cost effective way of reducing this and this outcome is great news for the 3%ers.

    Im still of the view that spend the money on the 3%ers (Satellite - as above) and the other 4% (rural/almost urban areas), the surplus could go into education and hospitals also out in the bush - and let the private sector fight over the main metropolitan areas.
    I run a IT business not too far out from Brisbane (less than 1hr)- and most of my clients are on wireless - (NextG to be precise) and struggle with lag, bandwidth, pricing and quota and all, including me, will not get FTTH.
    Lag is a major concern & once everyone else has FTTH this problem will increase exponentially - seen it happen out in the bush 10 years ago when metro got ADSL2+ - ninemsn is still a pain in the backside to load using 256k Sat.
    As I do a lot of remote assistance work my only option was to buy ISP grade wireless gear ($5k secondhand) and find someone in the nearest town to "host" my ADSL connection.
    Remote assistance is almost impossible to do over Satellite due to lag.

    The NBN isn't going to help these 4%ers - But glad to see the last 3%ers are getting the bare minimum that they deserve - and hopefully better in the near future.
    • Pity

      Pity the Coalition have been throwing their destructive childish tantrums. This NBN is the best and ONLY chance for a good communications infrastructure to build our economy on for the decades to come. With BiPartisan support more Rural fibre could have been run as part of the existing program which could have been expanded and increased , can't understand the Nats, after all effectively the FTTH NBN was their plan when Labor was considering FTTN. Now they are canning it even though it is off budget and will pay for itself.
      Abel Adamski
    • Yes - so fiber where possible

      You correctly point out the lag issue - this is exactly why we need an NBN with fiber - not the wireless options that some keep telling us are the fuftre. They are not the future - they are a part of the present.

      As for letting the Telcos sort it out - No! that has failed miserably and would continue to do so.

      I am now on a Telco's 100mbps service and I get upload of 1.5 mbps which is laughable. Download peaks at 92 mbps but often is much lower. The issue isn't line speed it's channel sharing for cost reasons.

      I think the NBN should be extended to fill in the wireless and hopefully satellite regions - but cost is very high. May take a long time.

      If the coalition stopped trying to cripple the NBN to something that can't support even the TV technology arriving now and worked on how to make it better we might get this issue sorted.
    • Lag, maybe not so bad

      I agree that latency (or lag) over satellite is unavoidable, but at least the speeds will be a vast improvement than what is currently available.

      However it's my understanding that the wireless component on the NBN (point to point LTE?) has been geared specifically to minimise latency compared to what people experience on 3G/4G services. So they may not be so bad off.
      • LTE-TDD Latency

        I'm on a TDD WiMax service which I achieve 1-2ms latency to the tower and 9-10ms to Melbourne which is about 300Km away. You could end up with higher latency on fibre as long as the Point to Multipoint link does not become congested.

        Its not point to point LTE, the point to point is in the microwave backhaul.
  • Good to hear

    The upgrade was planned for 2015, the wireless towers and services are tested for the 25/5, good to hear coming early, was always dependent on backhaul capacity, must have been getting some in
    Abel Adamski
  • What is sad

    Most of rural Aust has Telstra as their ONLY mobile provider (much coverage taxpayer subsidised ). Telstra is not releasing their NBN wireless plans untill mid 2013.

    Telstra has the premium Mobile Networks (service and price ) and a large and growing 4G customer base, for reasonable pricing and quotas bundled plans are the only solution which includes an unnecessary phone line amd locks in a 2 year contract.
    This discourages NBN takeup, especially rural as there is no other reasonable for their needs choice
    Abel Adamski
  • Great news for Satellite & Fixed Wireless users

    Who will be able to get comparable speeds to ADSL2+ even in the most remote parts of Australia.

    Now lets settle in to watch the usual suspects argue against the laws of physics, claim that the whole project costs too much and in the same breath vent their spleens because fiber isn't being run to every doorstep in the land.
    • Correction

      Actually the wireless is not cellular but P2P, as such minimized latency, plus yet to see ADSL of any flavour offer 25 Down AND 5 UP
      Abel Adamski
  • Great news. In theory NBNco could and should dump the 12/1mbps plan on fibre in 2015 but I imagine they'll keep it now anyway just to satisfy the dummies.
    Hubert Cumberdale