Unwired has finally confirmed its plans for a launch into the Melbourne market.
The wireless broadband provider commenced work today on building out its network which will eventually feature 70 Unwired towers.
With a price tag of around $22 million the network will cover about 90 percent of the city's population when complete.
Unwired CEO David Spence said Melbourne had long been the next step on the company’s national expansion path but the move had been delayed by a number of factors.
“We needed to make sure the WiMax roadmap was in place,” he said. “The Intel funding deal also took some time and without it Melbourne would not have been possible.”
Spence said the company’s initial $100 million start-up funding would have been sufficient to take it to the break-even point of 70,000 Sydney subscribers.
“Sydney was all about testing the product, building up the brand and making sure customers liked it,” he said.
As at October the company claims 40,000 customers in the Sydney region.
With Melbourne in place the company would chase opportunities in its core consumer and SME markets — particularly amongst business users roaming between Sydney and Melbourne, Spence said.
Unwired would also look to build up its network of IT resellers to support its largely mass merchant-based channel. These parters would help the company toward its goal of 45 percent coverage of the Australian population by 2008, he said.
IDC research director of telecommunications, Landry Fevre, agreed the announcement was behind schedule but said the company was heading in the right direction.
“Now they just have to find themselves a niche because anyone with broadband is their competitor in Melbourne,” he said.
Unwired moves to Melbourne
By Tim Lohman on Feb 1, 2006 4:02PM