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FREEDOM4 UK Preps mobile WIMAX Wireless Broadband Expansion

Posted: 15th Oct, 2009 By: MarkJ
freedom4 Ofcom has granted a request by broadband wireless ( WiMAX - 802.16 ) ISP FREEDOM4 to vary its Wireless Telegraphy Public Fixed Wireless Operator 3.6GHz to 4.2GHz licence. The wISP has since confirmed that this mobility extension to its national 3.6GHz licence will allow it to roll-out a mobile WiMAX (4G) network.

Ofcom's decision

1.10 We have carefully considered all responses received. The main conclusions of our consideration are that if the proposed variation were made:
•consumers could benefit from the increased choice and competition that would follow from Freedom4's ability to offer a wider variety of services and Freedom4 would be able to make better use of the spectrum in responding to new consumer demands;
•competition in the mobile communications market is unlikely to be distorted and competition in the provision of broadband data services is likely to be enhanced;
•there would be no disproportionate reduction in the spectrum quality of adjacent users under the coordination procedure, i.e. Fixed Services (FS) and Fixed Satellite Services (FSS) in the 3.6 to 4.2 GHz band; and
•the variation would be consistent with the European harmonisation of the 3.4 to 3.8 GHz bands for broadband wireless services in the Decision.
1.11 We consider that the continuation of the restriction on mobile use in the Freedom4 licence is not justified and our assessment of responses suggests that there are no compelling reasons not to vary the licence as proposed in the consultation. We have therefore decided to vary the Freedom4 licence as proposed. As soon as practicable we will issue a revised licence to Freedom4.

It's important to recognise that there are technically two forms of WiMAX, one designed more for fixed networks and another - mobile WiMAX, which is similar to the cell networks used my mobile operators and is a competitor to 4G LTE technology.

The suggestion appears to be that FREEDOM4 will now have the ability to launch a 4G style Mobile Broadband product of its own and in direct competition with the country's five main mobile network operators. Elsewhere FREEDOM4 Wi-Fi users now have access to 532 Starbucks hotspots across the UK.
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