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Good and bad news for iBurst fans

By   |  November 27, 2006

Good news for iBurst fans is that the company is currently testing 2Mbps connections for users. The bad news is that current subscribers are likely to have to fork out for new hardware to benefit from the improved speeds.

This is according to Anthony McKechnie, head of product development at iBurst, who was talking at the MyADSL Conference on Friday last week.

McKechnie said that iBurst was already testing 2Mbps connections and he said even higher speeds were already on the iBurst roadmap.

However, in response to questions, McKechnie said that the current modems used by iBurst subscribers would not be compatible with the higher speed.

He did say, however, that the 2Mbps tests were in their early stages and the company has not yet decided on how the introduction of 2Mbps and higher services would be introduced and how they would cater for existing subscribers.

McKechnie said that the company was also looking at a per-usage service (where users are charged per megabyte used) which was likely to be introduced in the new year.

He said that WiMax services were very definitely on the cards and that he was confident WiMax services would be seen in the next 12 months.

iBurst’s access to a Wimax licence has made the company the subject of lot of attention, particularly from Vodacom which has made a bid for a 10 percent stake in the company, in large part to gain access to the WiMax licence.

McKechnie said iBurst had seen significant growth over the past year. At the start of the year, he said, iBurst had 36 base stations covering 3 cities. By November this had increased to 112 base stations covering 15 cities.

Subscriptions had increased to 30 000, up from 12 000 at the start of the year.

McKechnie said the company expected to continue to expand aggressively with an estimated rollout of two base stations a week in the coming months.


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