London startup dismisses Wi-Fi broadband
Licensed spectrum the future
A trial wireless broadband service will start in London this summer, with tests continuing for a year, in an attempt to roll out a broadband service offering 33 megabits per second to corporate users. It will use 28GHz band for Greater London and be called Libera.
The network will be rolled out on purpose-built masts by a company started by "serial entrepreneur" Robert Condon, who launched his new company this afternoon at VON Europe at Olympia, London.
The first trial will be open to business in London's Docklands area, and at this stage, pricing indications are limited to promises of extremely high quality, service level agreements, and security.
A smartly-suited Condon spoke at length about the fact that businesses need reliable services, and then went on to suggest that there was a "copper-fibre gap" between the low cost ADSL services, on one hand, and the high cost leased line business from telcos on the other. There was no attempt to explain how Libera technology worked, or how the network rollout was planned.
However, the audience noticed that this emphasis on high quality of service indicated that pricing would tend away from the cheap and cheerful, into the "reassuringly expensive" area.
Condon poured scorn on those who attempt to provide broadband over Wi-Fi, saying that his company would be able to use those areas of spectrum, but felt that it had to be licensed frequency based if it was to meet corporate standards.
Little else was offered in his brief presentation, least of all an explanation of why an area like Docklands, with widely available fibre for gigabit metro ethernet, would be interested in a 30 megabit pipe into the office.
Condon also scored highly with delegates by giving a way free pocket umbrellas to delegates to the show - on the hottest day of the year so far. He was, presumably, counting on thunder-showers in London - and judging by the speed with which the giveaways disappeared, so are the delegates.
More details are available in a FAQ paper on the new Libera website.