Aussie NBN outperforms peers in fixed wireless

17 Jul 2015

The retail services offered over the fixed wireless component of Australia's NBN are on par or superior to those offered by 21 peer operators around the world by three major metrics, according to Ovum.

A new report from the research firm shows that the NBN's fixed wireless services are at or near the top of the leaderboards for data allowance, download speed and price per GB.

The wholesale NBN offers a nationwide broadband network used by retail ISPs to offer services to customers. This network includes a fixed wireless component to serve rural areas.

Ovum has compared the NBN's fixed wireless network to services offered by the 11 of the 21 operators that provided adequate information on data allowances, speeds and price per GB.

The NBN achieved a composite score of 100%, compared to 73% for the next highest-ranking telco – Orange Spain - and 48% for nearest APAC rival Taiwan Mobile.

The report notes that state-owned company conducting the NBN rollout, nbn, soon plans to launch a 50Mbps download / 20Mbps upload service.

Only one of the 21 comparable operators, Vodafone in Germany, matches this speed, with the closest APAC peer being Taiwan Mobile with a 30Mbps downlink service.

Retail providers using NBN meanwhile offer data allowances of up to 500GB. This is well ahead of the 70GB provided by PLDT, the nearest rival with a hard data allowance.

Eight rivals advertise unlimited services, but most of these either have fair use limits – such as the 30GB limit imposed by Bolt in Indonesia or Telekom in South Africa - or data speeds so low as to effectively limit usage regardless.

By contrast, Softbank and UQ of Japan both offer unlimited, high-speed products without specifying a fair use limit.

Finally, the most price-competitive fixed-wireless plans on the NBN offer a price per GB of just $0.17 and $0.21 respectively, compared to $0.79 for nearest rival T-Mobile Czechoslovakia and $0.97 for Taiwan Mobile and PLDT. The highest price per GB was Telus in Canada, at $6.88.

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