Flarion Confirms Telstra Trial

Alternative wireless broadband startup Flarion Technologies has confirmed it has secured a Flash-OFDM trial deployment at Telstra Corp., Australia’s largest wireless carrier.

Details of the deal remain sketchy, with both parties unable to disclose specifics.

In a company newsletter issued today, Flarion referred to media reports that Telstra will start trials in Melbourne and Sydney soon. If the trials prove successful, Telstra may then use the technology to offer Internet access in some isolated regions of Australia for the first time. [Ed. note: Dingos ate my modem?]

“There is a trial going on at Telstra,” Flarion’s VP of global marketing and communications, Ronny Haraldsvik, tells Unstrung. “We hope to disclose details in the next few weeks or months.”

Telstra spokesman Graeme Salt declined to add further comment. Earlier this year, Telstra committed to a $100 million CDMA2000 1xEV-DO investment in “capital cities and selected regional areas.” (See Telstra Cranks Up CDMA.)

The Telstra project is Flarion’s sixth publicly announced trial deployment, following deals with Nextel Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: NXTL), Vodafone K.K., KT Corp., Hanaro Telecom Inc., and SK Telecom (Nasdaq: SKM). (See Nextel Steps Up Data Race, Flarion Wins Voodoo Trial, KT Joins the Flash-OFDM Band, Flarion Doubles Down in Korea, and Flarion Cookin' Up Seoul Food.) Industry scuttlebutt has also linked the startup with T-Mobile International AG (see Flarion in Tryst With T-Mobile?).

OFDM is a modulation scheme that can support an average data rate of around 1.5 Mbit/s for users in a standard, PCS-sized cell site, while using only 1.25 MHz of spectrum. In theory, this makes it approximately four or five times more spectrally efficient than comparable 3G technologies, such as CDMA2000 or UMTS -- and cheaper to implement.

— Justin Springham, Senior Editor, Europe, Unstrung

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