commentary One could get the impression that Unwired's
competitors are a little worried about the wireless carrier's
entrance into the Melbourne market yesterday.
Telstra certainly wasted no time in reacting to Unwired's
plans, which were announced over the weekend.
The incumbent slashed the prices of its own wireless broadband
plans by up to 30 percent ... with the new packages due to take
effect from Wednesday.
While Telstra said the move was unrelated to Unwired's launch,
the timing was certainly suspicious.
Personal Broadband Australia (PBA), which operates the iBurst
wireless broadband network, also had a knee-jerk reaction to
Unwired's Melbourne launch.
"Please see below most updated boilerplate on PBA and iBurst
for your reference," said a statement from the company which
landed in your writer's inbox Monday morning.
"As you can see, iBurst is currently in Sydney, Melbourne
etc," the e-mail continued.
But if PBA is so confident of its market position and
mindshare ... why does it feel the need to distribute maps of its
coverage area on the eve of a competitor's expansion?
Such a tactic is an obvious ploy to get mindshare with writers
covering the Unwired launch.
Despite the bluster of its competitors, however, Unwired is
likely to make in-roads into the Melbourne market just as it has
The nature of Unwired's service is qualitatively different
from that of either PBA or mobile phone operators like
Unwired's solution is primarily geared towards being a
fixed-line ADSL/cable replacement for consumers, while PBA and
and the mobile operators are primarily providing solutions geared
towards daily mobility, typically for business users.
While there is some overlap between the two types of service,
Australia clearly needs both in varying quantities.
Also, despite the impression of hostility this week's events
might have left, relations between Unwired and its competitors
are not as strained as you might believe.
PBA chief executive Jonathan Withers told your writer this
morning that he has lunch with David Spence (his counterpart at
Unwired) "from time to time", and also used to work for mobile
phone carrier Vodafone.
Most of Unwired's own executive management team have worked
for Telstra at some point in their careers, with positions at
Optus and other carriers also common.
It'd be hard to believe links forged during those years have
totally died out.
What do you think about Unwired's entrance into
Melbourne? Will established competitors hamstring the wireless
upstart or will Melbourne become Unwired's second stronghold?
Send your thoughts through to email@example.com.
For more views from the trenches of Australian
telecommunications, visit my blog: Full Duplex http://www.zdnet.com.au/blogs/fullduplex