WiMAX or bust tomorrow afternoon for Woosh? Or are they buying an ISP?

, posted: 23-Jul-2006 11:20

WooshWhat's Woosh going to announce tomorrow afternoon - Monday 1.45pm New Zealand time?

The "media alert", which Woosh's PR bods sent to all and sundry, including people who no longer work at the publications in question, only says:

The conference will be held to announce a significant outcome arising from recent negotiations.

We'll be covering this over at Computerworld but... could the above mean that's it for Woosh? "Significant outcome from recent negotiations" sounds like "we've had someone make a decent offer, so we're selling up."

If that's the case, would anyone be surprised? Despite operating for three years and offering some pretty sharp pricing on its wireless service, Woosh has only some 15,000 customers. I see that Woosh is now selling dial-up accounts too, which is quite ironic given the "Escape from Dial-Up Hell" advertising campaign they ran not so long ago.

Then again, maybe it's positive news - something to do with introducing mobile broadband over the 2.3GHz band that Woosh has been getting usage rights in. Tom Pullar-Strecker says Woosh has two 8MHz bands, and Telecom eight; Sky and BCL have one each. Woosh said it was negotiating with the latter two about getting the rights to use the bands. It could be a WiMAX play, even though the government is getting fed up with Woosh and the others "spectrum squatting" in the 2.3-2.4GHz band and wants to re-auction the frequencies that nobody's currently using.

When Woosh got usage rights - we don't know how many channels yet - from Telecom, I did hear that something similar to Korea's WiBro was on the cards. Be interesting to see what Bob Smith and Co have to say tomorrow. Here's hoping it won't be yet another New Zealand ISP announcing its demise.

Update Just found another DomPost story, which says the Government's decision to take back the 2.3GHz spectrum isn't up for debate.

Economic Development Ministry radio spectrum manager Brian Miller says the Government first signalled its intention to take back and repackage the spectrum in 2004, on the grounds that it wasn't being used.

He says rights to the spectrum beyond 2010 could be allocated before the end of this year. Existing owners, if unsuccessful in acquiring those rights, would be able to sell their current rights to the spectrum's future owners, freeing the band up for immediate development.

Mr Miller says the decision to take back and reallocate the spectrum was confirmed by the Cabinet and is not up for debate at present. He would not speculate on whether the Government might revisit the matter.

"We can't keep changing our minds every year or two when something comes along. "There is a decision, and there has been no decision to change that decision. Clearly there will be a direction at the end of this process and that's all I can say."

Update II Well, tomorrow's announcement could be about something quite different to the above. There's talk that Woosh is buying part or the whole of Quicksilver, which has about 10,000 customers. Quicksilver is looking for funding at the moment and said they're doing something this weekend... tomorrow afternoon will tell.

More information

Other related posts:
The problem with VDSL2, part 2
The problem with VDSL2
The mysterious Dynamic Line Management on VDSL2

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