Updated: Optus trials wireless broadband for the home

Test will include 200 employes and will last three months

Optus plans to trial a 4G fixed wireless broadband service in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane.

The trial will include 200 staff and last for three months. Staff will receive a “plug-and-play” modem device to test network compatibility, performance and ease of use. The feedback will be used to determine pricing and other details.

Optus expects the speed of the wireless Internet service to be comparable to ADSL2+. While that might not be an improvement over existing wired broadband services, Optus said the service is targeted at “customers who may not want, or who are unable to receive, a fixed broadband service”.

4G in Australia: The state of the nation

The wireless service does not require an existing phone line and customers won’t have to wait for an installation technician to get started, Optus said. Users connect with a special home wireless broadband device.

The trial will put the Optus 4G network “through its paces to understand the full potential of what we can delivery for our customers—not just in mobile, but also home broadband”, said Optus managing director of fixed, Martin Mercer.

“This is not just in terms of speed and experience, but also how we manage our 4G Plus network to actively prevent a customer’s connection changing, wavering or dropping off during busy times.”

Update (21 Nov)

The trial modem replaces a user's existing home modem, an Optus spokesman told Computerworld Australia. The modem requires a fixed power point to function, so users would not be able to take it with them like other mobile broadband devices on the market.

The device has WiFi (b/g/n), supporting up to 32 devices at once, in addition to four Ethernet ports.

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