Sunday, September 12, 2004

Wireless Broadband Internet

Executive Summary

  • Broadband internet, minus the cable and phone line
  • Accessible in 95% of areas, even old units, train stations and shopping centers
  • Portable - take your connection with you when you move, or move house
  • Buy the modem ($195 incl delivery)
  • Plug-and-Play, simple.
  • Competitive pricing 256/64Kbps is $64.95 with 10Gb download or $44.95 for 1Gb download
  • Shaping to 64Kbps once monthly download limits reached
  • Test for 1 month, see for yourself if it works for your location
  • Secure connection between modem and ISP (proprietary technology)
  • Make telephone calls using VoIP next year (tests begin end of this year)
  • Service is entirely independent of Telstra
Intro
  • Many of you may be looking for a better broadband deal, and now a company called "Unwired" has begun to gather momentum which may interest you. Here is some background info to the company. Otherwise just scroll down to compare Optus' wireless internet offering with Unwired's.

The Company
  • Unwired established in 2000
  • It is aiming to be Australia's 2nd local loop provider, currently only Telstra provides local loop
  • Completed rolling out their network in Sydney in only 7 months (completed August 2004)
  • Since August 2004 the subscriber base to Unwired has been growing exponentially!

The Technology

  • 75 base stations in 13 clusters cover 2000 sq km, the hardware is provided by Navini under an exclusive contract to Unwired in Australia. This means that no other company in Australia will be able to offer the same wireless broadband internet service using Navini technology. [Ed - for more info on base stations and clustering you should research GSM networks on Google]
  • Navini's Ripwave system features beam forming antennas, multipath radio, synchronous CDMA technology and a high radio path loss capability [Ed - study ELEC subjects if you're interested in these areas]

  • Sydney network costed about $33 million [Ed - which is a bargain compared to the billions of $$ spent by Telstra and Optus with their cable networks, but still a lot of money for a new company]
  • Telstra was one of the first companies to use wireless to extend their network coverage into difficult locations, using 3.4GHz on the Proximity I system from Nortel Networks
  • Unwired will use 3.4GHz and 2.3GHz bands
  • These RF spectrum licenses cover 95% of Australia's population, which obviously means they are serious about business and should be able to give carriers like Telstra, Optus, Vodafone etc a run for their money with wireless (and cable for that matter)
  • Telstra was banned by the goverment from the auction where the RF spectrum licenses were leased

  • Unwired will be upgrading to the 3.5G (like in 3rd generation (3G) mobile networks) WiMAX 802.16e standard once it become ratified by the IEEE
  • WiMAX is not Wi-Fi which is designed for indoor LANs. These two standards operate differently at the media access control (MAC) layer of the OSI model. WiMAX is a new protocol ideal for a fixed point-to-multipoint network designed with the idea to replace cable broadband.
  • [Ed - for more info on WiMAX, do a search on the IEEE digital library (IEEE Xplore) via this link, or the ACM Digital Library, or on other databases at http://www.lib.mq.edu.au/library/era/.
    Full access can only be gained within the Macquarie network. Or remote access using your MQID and password.]
  • [Ed - study COMP subjects if you're interested in networking, or ELEC subjects for low level details such as protocols.]

The Providers

  • Ericsson will provide network operations centre services
  • Airspan Communications Limited supplies the backhaul equipment (used during network rollout)
  • Equinix will supply data centre space and facilities in it’s data centre site located in Mascot, Sydney
  • Uecomm will provide optical fibre based ethernet access services between 13 of Unwired’s Base Stations
    and Unwired’s Point of Aggregation at the Equinix data centre
  • Router and IP Switching equipment is provided from Cisco Systems

Optus Wireless Connect Pricing Plans

  • Optus Wireless Connect Casual
    $0 monthly access fee. One-off establishment fee $13.20.
    Includes 1 hour of connection time which is valid until the end of the first billing period.
    Additional hours are charged at $12.10 per hour.
  • Optus Wireless Connect Regular
    $5.50 monthly access fee.
    Includes 0 hours of connection time per monthly billing period.
    Additional hours are charged at $11.00 per hour.
  • Optus Wireless Connect Silver
    $27.50 monthly access fee.
    Includes 2.5 hours of connection time per monthly billing period.
    Additional hours are charged at $10.45 per hour.
  • Optus Wireless Connect Gold
    $49.50 monthly access fee.
    Includes 5 hours of connection time per monthly billing period.
    Additional hours are charged at $9.90 per hour.

Unwired Pricing

  • Modem Fee
    Purchase online for $189 plus $6.00 delivery charge, with next day delivery if order is placed before 1pm. Optional battery pack for modem for mobile use with a laptop
  • Unwired Setup Fee
    12 Month Contract: $0 Setup Fee ($200 waived)
    6 Month Contract: $100 Setup Fee ($100 waived)
    Month to Month contract: Full $200 setup fee applies
  • Unwired Monthly plan
    The bandwidth speed is download/upload

    Kick Start - 300MB included monthly downloads at broadband speed*
    256/ 64kbps - $34.95

    Break Free - 1GB included monthly downloads at broadband speed*
    256/ 64kbps - $44.95
    512/128kbps - $59.95

    Unleashed - 10GB included monthly downloads at broadband speed*
    256/ 64kbps - $64.95
    512/128kbps - $89.95
    1024/256kbps - $119.95

    * Unlimited download quota, however speed will be reduced to 64Kbps once monthly download allowance has been reached. [Ed - This is still much faster than the 14 to 56kbps reduction by other cable ISPs]