Thursday, August 19, 2010

Australian Wireless Broadband Blueprint

NBN Co have released white papers on their proposed fibre, wireless and satellite products. The "Product Overview Wireless Access Services" (August 2010) I found to be of most interest. This describes a fourth generation wireless data service seamlessly integrated into NBN's network.

The 25 page PDF document is 905 kbytes. Most of the 905 kbytes is due to a photo on the cover: I guess if you a building a broadband network, you can afford to waste bandwidth. ;-)

The wireless overview is written from an unusual perspective, being a description of the features provided by a non-existent service. The idea seems to be that NBN is looking for suppliers (most likely of WiMax ) for the service they have envisaged.

What NBN has described looks feasible and a desirable product, if it can be provided at a reasonable price and at a level of reliability similar to that of the existing wired telephone service. Those companies who invested in spectrum for wireless broadband, such as Seven Network's Wireless Broadband Australia (WBA), might now see some return on their investment, by selling the spectrum to NBN. This would allow the Seven Network to concentrate on selling spare parts for tractors out of a shipping container.

However, if NBN can provide an affordable and reliable wireless service, it might make their fibre offering unattractive for the average consumer. It is likely that the average home owner will be using a wireless link for the last 10m from the NBN's termination point in their home to their IT equipment. So the home-owner is unlikely to see much difference in the service between a fibre option connection and a wireless one.

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