Personal Broadband Australia (PBBA) has signed Sydney internet security services provider SecureTel as the first distributor for the iBurst mobile wireless broadband service.
Dave Stevens, managing director of SecureTel and Brennan IT, said the iBurst service was uniquely placed to provide true broadband roaming to customers.
“We think ... there's absolutely nothing like it. WiFi hotspots ... are provided by all different carriers and different providers. It's not seamless,” Stevens said.
C-level executives in most medium-sized companies were reluctant to provide mobility services to their staff due to concerns about cost and coverage, he said.
Hotspot coverage in particular was patchy and limited to certain sites such as airports and cafes -- yet staff wanted to access remote, seamless connections, he said.
“They want to be able to connect while sitting in taxis all the way to the airport ... in meetings and all kinds of places,” Stevens said.
PBBA said that iBurst is driven by smart antenna technology, offering mobility at broadband data transfer speeds as they travel through PBBA's carrier-grade, IP-based wireless, data network.
The service is compatible with existing laptops and desktop computers so no upgrades or new computing devices are required to access it, PBBA said.
“It's not something that our customers actually said they wanted ... but we saw it as strategic enough to make the investment in the network,” Stevens said. “But we know that once you get the technology it's extremely useful.”
Stevens said SecureTel had started giving iBurst cards out to “good customers” on a trial basis, but the company would not expect much return in the first six months.
“What we'll be able to do with it is difficult to say, but you'd be looking at raising $1 million in the first 12 months. Then I would say it was a success,” he said.
Getting verticals such as construction and banking to do major rollouts for their entire sales team would be critical in getting a decent ROI, Stevens added.
Charles Reed, CEO of PBBA, said the iBurst network would start operating tomorrow -- Friday 19 December. The first units would also be shipped to customers then, he said.
“SecureTel is now selling our iBurst service; making it the world's first truly mobile, broadband data network that is commercially available,” Reed said.
SecureTel would offer two mobile wireless broadband products based on the iBurst service. SecureTel iBurst Internet was always-on internet access, at speeds of up to 1Mbit per second, for metropolitan areas.
Corporate networks would also be able to buy SecureTel iBurst Private IP, a network access tool that helped users access their corporate network securely using a standard iBurst user terminal.