Optus to offer iBurst, courts Unwired

Optus will resell Personal Broadband Australia's iBurst wireless broadband solution, and is in talks with Unwired about a similar deal.Optus Business acting general manager John Simon said iBurst would supplement Optus' existing Wi-Fi, and second and [future] third-generation mobile phone capabilities.

Optus will resell Personal Broadband Australia's iBurst wireless broadband solution, and is in talks with Unwired about a similar deal.

Optus Business acting general manager John Simon said iBurst would supplement Optus' existing Wi-Fi, and second and [future] third-generation mobile phone capabilities.

This morning, Optus CEO Paul O'Sullivan told a telecommunications conference in Sydney it was still talking to other players in the space. Later in the day, Unwired confirmed it was on the list.

"The negotiations involve the rollout of wireless broadband across Australia using our network and Optus infrastructure," Unwired said in a statement.

In terms of coverage, iBurst is available in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Personal Broadband Australia also claims to own the broadcast spectrum that will allow for future services in Adelaide, Perth, Hobart and Darwin. Unwired only covers Sydney.

iBurst provides speeds of up to 1Mbps, with 2 Mbps scheduled for later this year. Unlike Unwired's solution, iBurst allows users to remain connected while on the move -- for example, on public transport.

Last week, Optus announced it was extending its own trial of wireless broadband to the business market. The carrier has been involved in a consumer-focused trial since December.