One.Tel to become upwardly mobile

PBL and News Ltd offshoot One.Tel will launch its own mobile network today, with wireless internet access services to follow.

Previously, the telco, 70 per cent owned by Packer and Murdoch, paid Optus for access to its network infrastructure. From today, however, One.Tel will enjoy the use of its own GSM1800 network.

According to Lucent Technologies, the company One.Tel contracted to implement the network, the telco's expenditures for infrastructure and networking in Australia will exceed $1.1 billion.

Under the One.Tel contract, Lucent installed a wireless network in all Australian capital and major cities.

One.Tel said in an ASX statement earlier this year that the launch of its mobile network would be followed by wireless internet access services, including personalised, SIM card-based browser portals -- accessible from customers' wireless handsets.

In March, One.Tel won licences to operate GSM1800 in all capital and major Australian cities, after bidding $523 million for the spectrum.

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