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BigPond muscles into wireless broadband

Australia's wireless broadband competitive landscape is about to spike with BigPond finally confirming an August 25 launch.The Internet Service Provider is understood to be planning a consumer offering using the same technology as the mobile broadband service offered by its parent Telstra.

Australia's wireless broadband competitive landscape is about to spike with BigPond finally confirming an August 25 launch.

The Internet Service Provider is understood to be planning a consumer offering using the same technology as the mobile broadband service offered by its parent Telstra.

Launched last November, the mobile broadband plans -- which cost a hefty $1.50 to $2.90 per hour -- runs on Telstra's CDMA (Code-Division Multiple Access) mobile phone network and is aimed at business customers. The network offers typical speeds of 300-600 kilobits per second when in a CDMA coverage area enabled for the 1xEV-DO (Evolution Data Only) standard.

However, it is understood only most metropolitan areas and some regional centres are so-covered, with the remainder having to make do with base CDMA access, which Telstra's Web site says "offers typical connectivity speeds of 80-100kbps".

BigPond's wireless broadband entry follows the early success of Telstra's mobile broadband product. In March, the telco giant said 7,000 customers had signed up to its third-generation mobile offerings.

BigPond will have to compete with new wireless telcos Personal Broadband Australia and Unwired, which registered 25,000 customers in May.