Saturn Communications has made its first sales of cable modems after launching to the business market last month.
Com 21 modems, each with a 10Mbit/s download and a 2Mbit/s upload capability, have been sold to three businesses, which Saturn did not name.
The business launch follows a residential trial in the last quarter of 1997, says IS director Jenny Morti-mer. Forty households took part in the trial.
“The technology went like a dream,” Mortimer says.
“It was very easy to install and to support. We subsequently surveyed our customers on what they were prepared to pay and on having a permanent connection.
“A small number were prepared to pay the cost of around $1000 a modem.”
There are monthly charges on top of that. A business wanting 500Mbit/s downstream capacity will pay $400 a month; 128Mbit/s costs $150 a month.
“There was also a lot of interest from IT managers because the technology is very suitable for teleworking.”
Mortimer says a cable modem service and perhaps other technologies such as ADSL will be offered to the residential market within the next three to six months.
“It’s a case of horses for courses.”
Saturn trialled the modems with Atrix and Netlink, both of which it remains interconnected with. Mortimer says she believes Telecom’s ADSL trials — particularly in Khandallah, where Saturn will next take its telephone service — are probably a result of Saturn’s cable modem trials.
“It’s interesting that they [Telecom] have moved their ADSL trials to the Hutt Valley and have approached the business market there on a trial basis. Hutt Valley business customers in particular are paying through the nose for ISDN.”