Vividwireless to bring mobile WiMAX to Australia

Vividwireless, a new subsidiary of one of Australia's leading media companies, Seven Network, is putting down about $42 million to fund the country's first mobile WiMAX rollout. The company has selected Huawei Technologies to build out the network.

Vividwireless is aiming for a commercial launch by March 2010 in the western city of Perth. According to Martin Mercer, head of the new company and former executive director for marketing with Telstra, Vividwireless' new network "will satisfy this need for speed, delivering customer speeds up to 10 times faster than currently delivered by 3G networks at prices that are equivalent to fixed line services."

In February, Telstra said it was the first in the world to offer mobile broadband service with peak rates of 21 Mbps made possible through HSPA+ technology. Vividwireless quotes average speeds of 4 Mbps for laptop users and a peak rate of 20 Mbps.

Interestingly, Vividwireless said a near-term goal is to operate simultaneous WiMAX and Long Term Evolution (LTE) using its large contiguous block of spectrum thanks to Unwired Australia Pty., which Seven purchased in 2007. Unwired is in charge of building and operating Vividwireless' network in Perth and also operates fixed WiMAX networks in Sydney and Melbourne. It owns 2.3 GHz and 3.5 GHz licenses that cover 65 percent of the total Australian population.

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