While UMTS operators are starting to upgrade their networks for high speed Internet access (HSDPA) it seems the competition is already a step ahead in some areas. During a walk in the countryside in Austria (to be exact: Gaspoltshofen, 3000 inhabitants, about 60 km from Linz) I saw an interesting antenna tower on a hill (see pictures). Turns out that the antenna belongs to Flashnet, a local company providing fast wireless Internet access to the local population.
It looks like they are using Wireless LAN as technology and directional antennas which are installed on the rooftops of their customers houses. Prices are quite interesting, €30.- a month for 2 gigabyte data traffic and 1 MBit/s up- and downlink. Their website also provides a map of the coverage area and they say on their website that they are now serving over 1000 customers in the area. Too bad that they don’t specify how many sites they use to cover the area.