Australia's Optus to shutter Unwired WiMAX network in 2013
Unwired, the WiMAX-based wireless ISP that Australian network operator Optus acquired earlier this year, will shut down its WiMAX network next February, with plans to move customers to other mobile broadband technologies, according to a company letter to customers that has been obtained by The Register. The exact target data for the shutdown is Feb. 28, 2013, close to the one-year anniversary of the deal Optus made last year to buy the long-struggling ISP from Seven Network's Vividwireless unit.
Optus reportedly is telling customers that it has been reviewing Unwired's service offerings since it acquired the company and believes they can now be better served by other 3G and 4G offerings, though it was not specified what technologies would be used to provide those services. The carrier launched LTE service last year, and Vividwireless actually had been planning a TD-LTE build-out for its WiMAX spectrum before the Optus deal was made.
Seeing another network move away from WiMAX and toward other mobile broadband options is not necessarily a surprise, though it appears Unwired had more basic business problems, such as not winning over enough customers. Unwired launched in 2004, though its WiMAX network did not roll out right away, and the company's mission for its network shifted from the original plan as a wireline replacement to a potential content distribution network under Vividwireless before the Optus acquisition.
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