Wireless 4G 'no threat to the NBN'

The faster broadband speeds offered by wireless 4G networks do not pose a threat to the National Broadband Network (NBN) as both technologies are needed, according to a poll.

Compare Broadband asked visitors 'Does wireless 4G technology pose a threat to the NBN?'

Out of 325 total votes, 59% said 'No, Australia needs both technologies,' while 40% said 'Yes, I would prefer to use wireless 4G in the future'.

Compare Broadband spokesperson, Sarah Routledge, said: "Understandably, most people prefer the convenience of mobile wireless and faster speeds will make this technology even more popular.

"However, this does not mean there is no longer any need for fixed-line broadband and the public still appears to support the NBN. Both technologies can work together, not against each other."

Telstra's announcement last month that next-generation mobile networks could be available by the end of the year sparked a debate, as some commentators questioned the need for a fixed-line network.

Corporate advisors Greenhill Caliburn said in a report commissioned by the government that some consumers "may be willing to sacrifice higher speed fibre transmissions for the convenience of mobile platforms," and this view was backed by the Opposition spokesperson for Communications and Broadband, Malcolm Turnbull.

However, chief executive of the NBN Mike Quigley has dismissed these claims, maintaining that the two technologies complement each other.

''While people like the convenience of their wireless devices, fixed networks are and will continue to be the workhorse of data download,'' Mr Quigley said.

Mr Quigley and other technology experts have also pointed out that the 4G upgrade requires a fibre connection to the mobile towers, underlining the need for both technologies.