NBN Co still planning to roll out 100Mbps-capable fixed wireless devices

New wireless NTDs capable of 100Mbps download speeds, though NBN Co has canned plans for a 100Mbps wireless service

The new default device that will be installed in end-user premises for NBN fixed wireless connections will have a theoretical maximum download speed of up to 100 megabits per second, despite NBN Co cancelling its plans to offer 100Mbps wireless services.

NBN Co’s partner for the fixed wireless rollout, Ericsson, is expected to begin deploying the next-generation wireless network termination devices, manufactured by NetComm Wireless, before the end of the year.

The wireless NTDs are currently undergoing final testing before deployment, Computerworld understands.

The devices are the third-generation of wireless NTD produced by NetComm Wireless and are capable of combining 2.4GHz and 3.5GHz spectrum into a common WNTD.

Once testing is completed, the devices will become the default NTD for wireless NBN services.

NBN Co had previously been expected to launch a 100Mbps fixed wireless service some time this year.

However in May, NBN Co CEO Bill Morrow — who is leaving NBN Co at the end of this month and being replaced by Stephen Rue — revealed that the company had canned the plan to offer 100Mbps as an option for fixed wireless end users.

Due to the capacity constraints of the fixed wireless service, being able to offer 100Mbps would incur an “outrageous” cost, Morrow said. NBN Co’s fixed wireless has been struggling with a growth in both data downloads and concurrent users.

The decision to ditch a 100Mbps offering is not the only source of controversy for the government-owned company: It recently proposed a new 50/20Mbps fixed wireless product that would be $20 a month more expensive than the fixed line equivalent for new users signing up.

The new product would have incorporated a small portion of bandwidth that could be shared between a telco’s customers, in a similar fashion to bundled fixed line products launched earlier this year. NBN Co said that the fixed wireless pricing proposal was intended only for a transitional period to avoid its infrastructure being swamped with new 50/20Mbps services.

The company has revealed it is considered introducing a ‘Max’ bundle that will have a similar price to the $45 50/20Mbps fixed wireless bundled pricing for existing customers.

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Tags Networkingnbn coTelecommunicationsNational Broadband Network (NBN)fixed wireless

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