In an earlier post, Unwired Fiji was praised for deploying a next-generation WiMAX network. A loyal reader forwarded me me an email sent out by Unwired that details new services that take advantage of their new network infrastructure and this news should be greeted with much less enthusiasm. Unwired would have benefitted from waiting for the July 17th announcement of the liberalisation of access to the international gateway to go to their customers with much more attractive pricing terms.
The company has unveiled two new service offerings for business users. Axxcess is a shared solution aimed at small and medium-scale enterprises. SkyFibre is a dedicated option for larger corporate outfits.
Monthly costs for Axxcess, a setup fee of $499 also applies:
Monthly costs for SkyFibre service, a setup fee of $666.67 also applies:
Rolling out new wireless networks is not cheap and to pay for the capital costs, early subscribers will have to pay a higher price for the service, at least until the service becomes more popular and drives down prices. Still, the absurdly costly pricing for these new services makes you wonder what the people at Unwired are thinking. A 128kbps service option to business users can hardly be described as cutting-edge.
Offering these uncompetitive prices and a three-year contract term, just two months shy of a major announcement affecting Internet backhaul pricing suggests that Unwired wants to make money at the expense of customers ignorant of what upcoming changes will mean for Internet service in Fiji.
This scenario makes you wonder if ISPs will be genuine in their efforts to pass on savings from the benefits of competition on to end-users.
To answer the questions that came up about Unwired’s network coverage:
SkyFibre–Greater Suva, Lami Metroplex & surroundings, with scheduled expansion to cover Suva-Nausori Corridor, and Western areas including Coral Coast, Nadi, Namaka, Lautoka later this year.
AXXcess–Suva CBD, Flagstaff, Nabua, Centre Point, Valelevu with scheduled expansion covering the Suva-Nausori Corridor.
It will be sometime before Unwired’s network coverage expands to anything close to providing national coverage. If their deployed network was more national, then the high costs for service might be somewhat justified.