IPWireless Denies Woosh Delay
In December 2002 the startup announced its first commercial deal to provide a high-speed wireless data network in the three major cities in New Zealand: Christchurch, Wellington, and Auckland (see IPWireless Walks New Zealand).
Woosh -- also known as Walker Wireless -- initially targeted a commercial launch of voice services for April this year, intended to complement its broadband data offering. In March the service provider announced the rollout was to be delayed until the fourth quarter of 2004.
“IPWireless is currently undertaking a number of product upgrades which are related to the launch,” commented Woosh’s CEO, Bob Smith, at the time of the delay.
Industry scuttlebutt also points the finger of blame at the equipment vendor. “IP Wireless has been unable to deliver voice services to Walker Wireless,” one anonymous source tells Unstrung. “The issue is one of latency.”
IPWireless’s VP of product management, Malcolm Gordon, denies the vendor is responsible for the delay, adding that “about 20 to 30 [base station] sites” are “up and running” for the data network. When asked when voice services will be launched, Gordon responded: “It’s largely up to them.”
In an email statement, Woosh’s GM for sales and marketing, Sandra Geange, notes that “the delay of our voice launch was a decision taken by Woosh and IPWireless together, to ensure we have a fully featured and scalable voice solution from day one of launch."
Geange adds, however, that the service provider is still “in the process of testing dedicated channels for voice which we will probably use in the early phases of deployment.”
IPWireless is attempting to court carriers with its high-speed time-division duplex (TDD) data system, which conforms to Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) standards but -- unlike standard cellular systems -- uses unpaired spectrum, sending and receiving data on one channel rather than two (see IPWireless Flies the TDD Flag and IPWireless Fattens Its Wallet for more detail on the vendor’s offering).
— Justin Springham, Senior Editor, Europe, Unstrung