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Advanced Wireless Networks Battling In Australia

The coming mobile wireless heavyweight battle between 3G mobile phone technology and WiMAX began its initial combat with Friday's launch of 3G HSDPA in Australia.

Australian telecommunications provider Telstra debuted its 3G service that it claims covers more than 98 percent of the country's population. The service, rolled out in less than a year in the 850 MHz spectrum band, will compete with Unwired Australia's mobile WiMAX service, which serves some 60,000 customers between Sydney and Melbourne.

The two services -- WiMAX and 3G HSDPA -- are the most advanced deployments of their respective technologies. Rollouts of both technologies have taken place in many other countries, but those deployments have been miniscule when compared with the Aussie net.

Rob Conway, CEO of the GSM Association, a trade organization of some 700 GSM global mobile operators, hailed Telstra's feat of deploying in 10 months the 850 MHz network that covers one-quarter of Australia's landmass.

"This is a tremendous feat of engineering, demonstrating the versatility of the technology to reach across both metros and vast regional geographies," he said in a statement.

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