Woosh? More like phut! as operator reports another loss

7 Apr 2010

New Zealand broadband wireless provider Woosh Wireless posted another loss in its financial year to June 2009, but its chairman Rod Inglis bullishly claims that WiMAX has the ‘potential’ to pull the company into the black. Woosh posted a record loss of NZD38.3 million (USD26.9 million) in the period, compared to a loss of NZD21 million the previous year, leaving the wireless broadband firm with liabilities exceeding its assets by NZD12.4 million. Revenues were up by less than 2% at NZD16.9 million. The board wrote down the value of its network by NZD22.3 million. Undaunted, Inglis believes the firm’s plans for a WiMAX (4G) 802.16e wireless deployment in the 2.3GHz band, coupled with the government’s Ultra Fast Broadband and Rural Broadband plans, will pull the company around. ‘Broadband Wireless deployments using WiMAX are now being made in 150 countries with 480 networks being built covering more than one billion people. Some leading industry commentators and executives have commented that the demand for wireless data will, for some time, be insatiable so while Woosh’s entry into the broadband wireless business was too early, the industry is gathering momentum all the time. Woosh believe it will be able to participate profitably in this growth’, Inglis said.

Founded in 1999 as Walker Wireless, Woosh Wireless was one of the first operators in the world to deploy wireless broadband TD-CDMA technology for the delivery of high speed internet access services, TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database writes. With the backing of New Zealand investors, Clarity Partners (US) and Vodafone, in 2001 Woosh was awarded 60MHz of national frequencies in the 2050MHz-2080MHz and 2150MHz-2180MHz range, and launched commercially in September 2003. In April 2005 it paid NZD35 million for 180 additional base stations from US supplier IPWireless to more than triple the size of its wireless data network and expand coverage in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Southland, and to improve coverage in areas of high demand. Woosh Wireless currently provides wireless broadband and phone services to about 26,000 customers.

New Zealand, Woosh Wireless