iBurst shutting down?

If you follow the happenings in Australia, you will notice that iBurst in Australia is facing tough times. Dating back as far as October, rumors started spreading that iBurst Australia will close down.

The Australian stock-exchange-listed company Commander which provided iBurst services in Australia collapsed in August, with $300 million of debts on its books. As of writing, the company is stripped of it’s assets – there is however talks that a new bidder might reintroduce iBurst services in Australia.

This is very indicative to the market position of iBurst in South Africa and one would have to ask the question if the iBurst product still provides a value-proposition in the South African market. 3G mobile broadband has caught up with iBurst speeds, Neotel is offering more bandwidth at a lower cost is improving coverage monthly. Telkom has started to improve the fixed-line installation turnaround time and is now also offering wireless (3G / WiMAX) broadband services which offer newer (and faster) broadband access than iBurst.

The writing is on the wall, with 3G offerings from Telkom and the various WiMAX players in the South African market already offering improved speed and lower costs, will eventually force iBurst to rethink their current business-model.

It will be difficult for this company to rebrand/reposition itself, considering it’s reputation in the market.