As broadband technologies evolve, there is a new mobile wireless technology war raging around the globe, with WiMax and LTE, and now the CSIRO’s Ngara technologies fighting for top spot in Australia.
Seen as severely lacking in mobile wireless coverage, new broadband provider Vividwireless decided to establish a WiMax network in Perth. The service purportedly filled a gap in the market, and laid a foundation for a more evolved mobile wireless service than Australia’s current 3G and GSM offerings. The Perth network runs at speeds of 4Mbps to 20Mbps.
Vividwireless is a brainchild of company owner Kerry Stokes, whose Seven Network created the wireless broadband corporate division, and whose son Ryan Stokes serves as chairman.
Perth’s WiMax network cost a massive $50 million, and was built with the intention of covering the Western Australian capital’s black spots and drop-out zones missed by its GSM-based mobile towers. Ryan Stokes believes the new network also helps to improve Seven’s digital platform and multimedia systems.
Adelaide has a $15 million WiMax network, built by rival broadband provider Adam Internet. Adam Internet’s WiMax network is based in metropolitan Adelaide, with reported speeds of 12Mbps.
Adam Internet installed its “AdamMax” WiMax network to help an approximate 10% of Adelaide’s metropolitan population who were unable to get ADSL broadband in over 350 black spots across the city. Intentions were to offer a wireless service that ran at speeds similar to ADSL2+, and it looks like it’s achieved its goal.
WiMax wireless technology is often regarded in the realm of so-called “4G” services where voice calls are transferred via an application, and like Wi-Fi, packet data is used to provide internet access. This new type of broadband connects via radio spectrum to WiMax-enabled laptops or mobile devices.
The Seven Network tried to make its mark early in the WiMax market, having taken over pre-WiMax mobile broadband provider Unwired in early 2008. Currently, Vividwireless’s only real competitors are Adam Internet and Internode's sister company, Agile Communications. Agile Communications has networks in South Australia as well, in the Coorong, Yorke Peninsula and Riverlands areas.
However, new innovations in wireless technology at CSIRO, and LTE technology being developed by Huawei for Vodafone, means the “4G” marketplace has only just begun competition. Keep your eye out for WiMax, 4G and these other types of wireless broadband in your area.