Pipex, using the brand Freedom4, announces launch of its WiMax service in the UK, targeted for the end of the year.
Let's be clear here: at this point, you get a receiver the size of a side plate with a toilet roll on top. It allows you to receive a wireless signal (4Mb/s) 500m to 2km (indoors) from the base station; 10km away if you're outdoors. Once you have the signal, you have to pipe it into your PC or Mac or whatever (eg cables or wireless). This Silicon article reports that a USB plug into the back of your PC is coming too - such things do exist. (I'd love the ability to set up my own base station, please?)
Two areas served to date: Warwick, Milton Keynes and Warwick; parts of Manchester coming soon - here's the coverage map.
Clearly, this is complementary to Wi-fi, rather than competitive. Their marketing is aimed at remote access for SMEs:
- those out-of-towners
- too far from the exchange to get broadband
- don't want a phone line.