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Vividwireless launches Huawei 4G wireless modem on Optus network

The Huawei-built modem runs on the Optus 4G network and provides customers with unlimited data on speeds of 10Mbps for AU$89 per month.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor

Home wireless connectivity provider Vividwireless has launched its new modem, spruiking unlimited data allowances and the ability to plug and play instantly with the offering.

Citing "simplicity", Vividwireless sells only one device with the SIM preinstalled by the company itself.

"This is the third technology iteration for our company," Claude Brown, general manager of Vividwireless, told media on Wednesday afternoon.

"We think it provides a solution for consumers that's unlike any other solution out there for home internet."

The device is built by Chinese network technology giant Huawei, and runs on the Optus 4G network.

"Optus has already rolled out an LTE 4G network across the country. We're using that network," he said.

"Our network is using spectrum or radio frequencies that are available in metro areas."

The device runs on the 2300MHz spectrum frequency band, which Brown said enables the "best performance for data", but the company is restricted to only operating in metro areas due to licensing regulations.

"We have a licence from the government to operate our services and it's only in the metro areas," Brown explained.

"In the rural areas, someone else holds the licence."

Vividwireless does enforce a speed cap of 10Mbps download and 1Mbps upload, however, with Brown saying it was a "good compromise" between throttling either data allowances or speeds for customers.

The modem itself costs AU$199 for those who use it on a month-by-month basis with no lock-in contract, and is sold through Harvey Norman, the Good Guys, and Vividwireless' own online store. Alternatively, it costs AU$89 per month for unlimited data, AU$59 for 40GB of data per month, or AU$29 for 10GB of data per month.

Vividwireless first launched a Huawei WiMAX network in Perth, Western Australia, in 2010 with unlimited plans on speeds of around 5Mbps. It was then bought out by Optus for AU$230 million in 2012.

Optus at the time said the acquisition would better position it to launch 4G services, as it picked up 98MHz of spectrum in the 2.3GHz spectrum band as a result of purchasing Vividwireless.

"The acquisition of Vividwireless will give Optus a significant increase in network capacity to address the next wave of data growth that is just around the corner," then-Optus CEO Paul O'Sullivan said at the time.

"By integrating it with our current 4G rollout, we will be able to provide increased mobile speeds to our customers in metropolitan Australia."

Two years ago, Optus vice president of mobile engineering Andrew Smith told ZDNet that in rolling out its time-division duplex long-term evolution (LTE) network in that spectrum band, the telco had been skirting around the Vividwireless WiMAX pockets, and partitioning the spectrum in some areas.

"There are small pockets, but we've refarmed around those, so that we can actually turn up the 2.3GHz band," Smith said in February 2014.

"Our 2.3GHz band has been rolling out for almost a year now and we've been able to turn it up there, because we can partition the spectrum to make sure there is enough space for our 4G operations."

As of this year, Vividwireless is now running off Optus' 4G network in five capital cities.

Optus has previously said that as of January 2016, its 4G network reaches 92 percent of the Australian population.

According to an OpenSignal report from last week, Optus has a 4G availability of 73.4 percent of the time, an average 4G download speed of 19.18Mbps, and 4G latency of 51.88ms.

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