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Kent gets UK's first WiMAX network

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A next-generation wireless broadband network is being created in Kent which will provide high-speed wireless services to residential and business punters in the South East of England. Trials are due to start in January ahead of a full commercial launch by the middle of next year.

Telabria - a privately-held company based in Kent - says the decision to build the UK's first WiMAX network will "fundamentally change the structure of broadband networks" by providing a wireless alternative to fixed line communications.

With a population of more than one and a half million people covering 1,442 square miles, Telabria intends to deliver wireless broadband services combining voice, video and data to towns and built-up areas as well as to Kent's more rural regions.

"We believe that in the UK market WiMAX-based services can compete head-on with fixed-line residential and SOHO contended broadband such as ADSL," said Telabria founder and chief exec Jim Baker.

"To enable this, we have designed a hybrid wireless distribution network using technologies that offer excellent performance, scalable capacity, carrier-grade Quality of Service, rapid provisioning and low-cost subscriber units."

Over the last nine months, Telabria has been busy building wireless broadband networks in rural areas not served by xDSL or cable. It has also set up WiFi hotspots in central London, Essex, Sussex, Surrey and Kent and expects to have more than 400 by the middle of 2005.

In June this year Telabria won a technology award for the best use of IT in Kent's annual Business Awards after fitting out pubs with wireless broadband. The initiative with brewer and pub group Shepherd Neame proved so successful that 60 pubs in Kent, Surrey, London, Sussex and Essex are hooking up to Telabria's wireless broadband service by Christmas as the brewery expands its award-winning rural broadband project. ®

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