NBN Co, the public private company set up to oversee and manage the construction of Australia’s National Broadband Network, has reportedly expanded trials of its fixed wireless infrastructure, according to iTnews. The operator will bring the service to Toowoomba and Tamworth, with it understood that connections are already being installed for eligible users in the former. The report claims that one internet service provider had said that it had some 40 users in Toowoomba waiting to be take up services over the fixed wireless network. Five sites are expected to be constructed initially, covering around 15,000 premises, with that number set to rise to around 41,500 premises as coverage is extended.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in July 2011 NBN Co selected Swedish vendor Ericsson to assist in the deployment of a Long Term Evolution-based (LTE-based) fixed-wireless network for rural and remote regions. With the contract between the two companies valued at around AUD1.1 billion (USD1.134 billion) over a ten-year period, the network rollout forms part of the commitment to ensuring higher speed connections for all Australians; while around 93% of the population is expected to be served by the under-construction fibre network, NBN Co will also deliver broadband to around 4% of premises that are outside the fibre footprint via fixed-wireless services. The remaining 3% of connections will be provided via satellite broadband. The TD-LTE network aims to provide a service of 12Mbps downstream and 1Mbps upstream.