Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Australia plans ADSL2+/WiMAX network

Australia has awarded AUD 958m to the OPEL Networks joint venture of Optus and Elders, to build a combined ADSL2+/WiMAX network. It is part of the government's Australia Connected initiative.
The network will consist of 15k km of fiber backhaul, 426 exchanges (to cover 3m households with ADSL2+) and WiMAX (for regional areas).
End-user pricing should come in the range of 35-60 AUD/mo, depending on speed. In 2009 the maximum speed should be 12 Mbps, which is subsequently to be raised. The network should cover 99% of the population. The other 1% is eligible for a 2750 AUD/household subsidy.

I find this a remarkable move. First, the G9 consortium (around Optus - also), as well as Telstra, is vying for building a FTTN/VDSL network. Second, an ADSL2+/WiMAX looks like combining 'old' technology (ADSL2+) with unproven and possibly inferior (to LTE) technology (WiMAX), as Telstra is eager to point out.

For reference, read Alan Kohler's case for FTTH (as opposed to FTTN) and Grahame Lynch's case for a merger of the G9 consortium members, which nicely fits my view on how to beat the incumbent.

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