Davnet cleared to test fixed-network system

Yvonne Chan

Australian telecommunications company Davnet has been granted approval by the Government to test a wireless local fixed telephone network system (FTNS).

Davnet recently applied for a wireless FTNS licence through its 75 per cent owned joint-venture company Davnet Digitel Hong Kong.

The Government is expected to issue licences by the end of next month.

The tests, which will begin immediately and last until the end of next month, would involve three commercial buildings in Central, the company said.

Davnet has installed its infrastructure in 50 commercial buildings in Australia and has a market capitalisation of about A$245 million (about HK$1.21 billion).

Davnet utilises a combination of laser links, local multipoint distribution system (LMDS) and microwave technology in its networks.

Its wireless network would transmit voice, video and data signals between a base station and an antennae on the user's building roof, then via co-axial cable within the building.

Davnet said its service enabled data transmission speeds of up to 100 megabits per second - about 66 times faster than leased data lines.

This would support video-conferencing and broadband Internet.

Davnet said it would also provide free-to-air television news services such as CNN and Reuters.

It has proposed to service commercial buildings in key urban areas in Hong Kong and Kowloon and plans to have 75 buildings wired up by the end of next year. It hopes to eventually expand its proposed services to SAR residential buildings and into Guangdong province.

'We have deals with all the major [SAR] property groups,' said Christine Liao, interim managing director of Davnet Digitel.

Davnet Digitel is 25 per cent owned by SAR-based Lit Cheong Communications Investment, which has mainland fibre-optic networks and a pager network with 100,000 subscribers. Davnet Digitel may also list on the Growth Enterprise Market and Nasdaq.