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4G Fixed Superfast Wireless Service Goes Live in Southwark and Reading UK

Friday, October 5th, 2012 (1:33 pm) - Score 1,244

Now Broadband, which is owned by the UK branch of Hong Kong based telecoms firm PCCW (UK Broadband), has this week made its “fibre through the air4G (LTE) based fixed wireless broadband service commercially available to homes and businesses in Southwark (London) and Reading.

The operator originally planned to offer its commercial service to businesses, consumers and the public sector (wholesale) from May 2012 but its trials, which began in February 2012, appear to have gone on for longer than expected.

Prices start from £21.50 inc. VAT a month for the now Lite package with free setup and free Huawei nowBox hardware on a 24 month contract (shorter contracts are available but these attract an extra setup fee) and go up to £36 for now Advanced (more expensive business options are available).

Sadly the ISP is frustratingly vague about what customers will actually get for their money, offering no clear mention of usage allowances, speeds or even package features. Even the T&C’s were fairly bland on detail but we do know that the service speeds go up to 40Mbps (5Mbps uploads). A 14-day money-back guarantee is also mentioned on their website.

Nicholas Jame, CEO of now Broadband, said:

We are really excited to offer residents and businesses in these areas a unique opportunity to enjoy 4G speeds using our wireless networks. Our services offer a truly flexible, hassle free alternative to fixed line broadband services – whether it’s at home, work or a customer WiFi solution.

In terms of business benefits, this service can be either the primary superfast internet connection or provide the secondary or resilient connection to ensure that local businesses and organisations are connected at all times. Being always connected is now an essential requirement in today’s business and increasingly cloud based world. It can be extremely damaging if a business loses its internet connection.

Wireless broadband provides a low-cost, reliable second connection as well as providing significant additional internet capacity to the business.”

The network itself is likely to make use of UKB’s 124MHz of spectrum in LTE bands 42 and 43 (3.5GHz and 3.6GHz), which also supports the true 4G standard known as LTE-Advanced and could thus one day deliver speeds of up to 1Gbps. This is ideal for low mobility environments and fixed wireless solutions.

In addition UK Broadband’s related 4G network in Swindon is now ready to go live (details) and the operator has plans to increase its coverage in the future. It’s also worth pointing out that North Lincolnshire ISP Diamond Net is using the operators platform in the Scunthorpe area too (here).

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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