Australian ISP Unwired has hinted at an alliance with Apple that could see the two partner on a music service within a month, local reports claim.

The ISP already offers subscribers a special deal on an AirPort Express , but the relationship "will expand to offer more services in about a month's time", said Australian IT, citing Unwired's CEO.

The Apple partnership will "involve music in particular", Spence said, but did not say the deal would involve iTunes Music Store.

Broadband barrier slows the music

Unwired has installed 68 broadband base stations in Sydney, and aims to achieve 100,000 subscribers within a year.

Broadband is essential for the best experience using iTunes Music Store, and Australia lags behind other developed countries in terms of broadband penetration. In June, analyst firm IDC predicted Australia will have broadband penetration of 13 per cent by 2008.

The analysts estimate Australia had just 727,440 broadband users in 2003, anticipating 2.8 million subscribers by 2008. "Wireless broadband is not a fad," the analysts wrote.