Engin gambles on Unwired

Merger not ruled out

Telecommunications provider Engin has today acquired 10.38 percent of broadband provider Unwired Group Limited ahead of a possible merger between the companies.

The company purchased the shares at 40 cents each to allow it to enter the Australian wireless broadband market. The shares were acquired with funding provided by a Seven Network group company.

Engin executive chairman Neil Gamble said the company has followed the global development of WiMAX, and believes the technology is mature enough to deliver fixed and mobile broadband to consumers.

"We see a strong rationale for Engin and Unwired working co-operatively. A combination of Unwired's wireless access services with Engin's broadband telephony and TiVo offering would deliver a compelling consumer proposition," Gamble said.

"As shown by our recent announcement to deliver ADSL2+ to customers, we see broadband access as an enabler of consumer services such as voice and TiVo .

Gamble said Engine will develop new capabilities in voice technology as it sees its services operating across multiple devices and multiple access technologies.

Engine will explore synergies between the two companies to better utilize assets, and while a take-over bid has not been made, Engine directors have not ruled out the possibility.

Unwired owns the majority of the Australian metropolitan spectrum for the licensed bands which WiMAX will operate in.

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