Woosh to float on exchange within two years

Walker Wireless, now renamed Woosh Wireless, expects to launch a public share offering within two years, says chairman Rod Inglis.

Woosh Wireless, formerly Walker Wireless, expects to launch a public share offering within two years, says chairman Rod Inglis.

Woosh has announced its planned rollout of wideband CDMA and plans to cover 70% of Auckland as well as the central business districts of Wellington and Christchurch by the end of the year. Woosh is also rolling out network in its three Project Probe regions: Wairarapa, Northland and Southland. Plans to extend the network nationally are also on the drawing board.

Inglis says the move has been "seriously considered" and is dependent on many factors, including Vodafone's position. Vodafone has invested in Woosh's rollout and has an option to buy up to 20% of the company should it decide to. Vodafone has also announced it will be rolling out a W-CDMA network in the next year, however CEO Bob Smith doesn't see that as a problem.

"Our service is complementary to Vodafone's plans. We are a fourth generation overlay to their 3G network." Inglis says the two companies work well together and there is a good fit between their technologies.

Inglis also says the company has enough spectrum to service all the customers in Auckland it needs and has no concerns about quality of service should the network become saturated.

"We've got 74 MHz of spectrum and currently we're only using 30 MHz and we're not even using all of that." Inglis says the company's upgrade plans allow for cheap, easy extension of network capacity as and when it is needed.

Woosh expects the residential and SOHO markets to be the largest market for the product.

"I'd expect it to be about 70 to 80 residential, 20 to 30 business, but we really need to wait and see."

The company has plans drawn up for a number of outcomes, says Inglis, ranging from very little take up through to very high levels of demand.

"Our initial goal is to be competitive and to reinvest in our network. That's where our money is going for the next two years or so."

The company plans to extend its broadband internet offering to include a voice component by the end of the year. Inglis says the price point for such a package will make Woosh very competitive in the telco market.

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