WiMAX licence owner wins right to be a mobile operator
Celebrates by dissing the competition
Telecoms watchdogs at Ofcom have agreed to let UK Broadband, the company that owns the 3.5GHz spectrum licence, supply WiMAX service to mobile devices as well as for access for homes and offices.
A ruling published by the regulator yesterday overturns restrictions on the applications of the spectrum. UK Broadband also won the right to boost the power of its signal for longer range transmission.
In its statement, Ofcom said: "Removing restrictions on the licensee will benefit consumers, encourage competition, optimise use of the spectrum and is therefore in the interests of citizens and consumers. Ofcom also believes that the likelihood of interference to other users is low."
UK Broadband's parent company, the Hong Kong comms giant PCCW, bought 13 regional licences in an auction in 2003, but has yet make an impact and only provides service to parts of the Thames Valley. The piecemeal licences were consolidated as a single by Ofcom in March.
In a celebratory email to staff seen by The Register, UK Broadband's operations chief Keith Hawkins took a pot shot at Freedom4, the Pipex subsidiary that owns the only other WiMAX licence issued so far.
Hawkins wrote: "All this means that there is even more chance of 3.5 GHz becoming a popular band for WiMAX.
"It is becoming clear that 3.4 - 3.6 [GHz] is great spectrum to own – (and having it above 3.6 GHz is less good - i.e. Pipex/Freedom4 in the UK - as getting the mobility and required power levels may well be a struggle for them, with potential satellite interference issues)."
Freedom4 refused to respond to the criticism. Its licence does not currently allow it to provide WiMAX to mobile devices. It currently offers service in a few cities including Milton Keynes and Manchester.
A Freedom4 rep told us that it is in ongoing discussions with Ofcom about its licence, but said the firm would not release any details. ®
Wimax in Slough - When is someone going to invest in Broadband services for Slough?
Currently my Broadband service is with UK Broadband (also known as My Now broadband), but the ping is so bad (if I'm lucky I get 300/400/500+) which is useless for playing online games when other Broadband services have pings of no more then 70ms worldwide...
Because of that alone, I can't wait for Wimax from Pipex to be available in Slough next year (which seem to offer much better pings and much better download/upload speeds of up 2MB for home user, when compared to the current 1MB high ping connection).
Good news, Pipex have just in past month emailed me confirming that they will be starting Wimax in Slough next year 2008 (not sure exactly when), I suggest that other users in Slough (specially in areas to far from the Exchange) will also register their interest ASAP so that someone can finally come and offer Broadband to Slough home users, believe it or not, currently no one so far has invested in Slough, not even the local Cable provider has managed to upgrade the outdated service after 10+ years of saying this will be done soon, I guess is a bad business move for the local cable Provider as SKY was taken over the whole lot, one only to check all the SKY mini dishes down the streets to see how bad the Cable corporation is doing. In the other hand ADSL offering 200kb connections should not even be called broadband, more like dialup, the whole infrastructure is outdated and people want proper Broadband services and not dialup speeds. Wimax should be a winner especially if people register their interest with freedom4 (Pipex wireless).
Freedom4 is only half owned by Pipex
Unless something has changed recently, Freedom4 is half owned by Intel too. Not that they've any commercial interest in a "successful commercial rollout" of WiFi anywhere in the world, oh no.