NBN Co will accelerate peak broadband download speeds on its fixed wireless network from 50 to 100Mbps.
The national network builder today announced that it would make the 100/40Mbps speed tier available on its fixed wireless network to retail customers from “early 2018”.
The new speed tier doubles the fixed wireless network’s current maximum speak speeds of 50/20Mbps.
NBN Co described the new speed tier as a business grade service. However fixed wireless general manager Roy Brown said it would be generally available to residential consumers across the fixed wireless footprint in regional and outer metro areas.
Brown said pricing for the new tier would be decided after completing a consultation process with retailers that is due to be launched in the coming weeks.
NBN Co today demonstrated the new wireless network equipment that makes it possible to extract more bandwidth performance from its 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz spectrum at a primary school in Ballarat.
The company demonstrated that it was possible to use TDD LTE carrier aggregation technology to achieve 100Mbps on the downlink and potentially more in the future.
NBN Co’s fixed wireless network will serve around 500,000 premises in regional and outer metro areas.
Around 170,000 premises have taken up the services consuming an average 110GB per month.
An NBN Co spokesperson said the network wholesaler was grappling with public misconceptions that the download quotas and performance available on its regional fixed wireless network is comparable to commercial mobile networks.
“Unfortunately, out there in the field there are a lot of end-users who, when they hear they’re going to be on fixed wireless, they get confused between the fixed wireless and mobile service,” the spokesperson said.
The carrier is also seeking to address concerns that parts of its multi-technology mix network lack upgrade paths.
“[The new fixed wireless speed tier] is just one more example of NBN Co’s flexibility to introduce technology advancements without slowing down the rollout," CEO Bill Morrow said in a statement.
"It fits neatly into the upgrade path for fixed wireless and ensures we meet our commitment to provide a network for the future regardless of technology."
Brown said the network would not require any major backhaul upgrades to keep pace with the new speed tier but conceded that some sites may require additional fibre.