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October 9, 2012

4G network launched in Swindon, Southwark and Reading

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Impatient 4G device owners, rejoice!

UK Broadband has launched UK’s first retail 4G LTE network, to provide super fast connection to the residents of Swindon, Reading, and Southwark, London. I lived in Reading for just over a year and noticed a few things in town than we did not yet have in other towns and cities. This was wireless routers at all bus stops and interconnectivity between the stops and the buses. This meant that you had a clock on each bus and a schedule that was updated constantly to show you the exact time that your bus would arrive at your stop. Being a commuter and a tech fiend, I appreciated this immensely.

Moving on, this new tech update is a so-called “fixed wireless” service, not a mobile one, and will be commercially available through the company’s consumer arm Now Broadband. Prices start at just £21.50 for download speeds of up to 40Mbps.

Earlier this year, TechWeekEurope reported on the launch of UK Broadband’s Broadband’s wholesale 4G network in the London Borough of Southwark, which includes London Bridge and the Shard.

4G, but not as we know it In February, UK Broadband became the first company to offer a 4G network in the UK. What’s more, it was the first network in the world to use Huawei’s 3.5GHz TD-LTE (Time Division – Long Term Evolution) equipment. The company chose the London borough of Southwark for its first deployment due a large concentration of students and immigrants, who do not traditionally tie themselves down with fixed-line contracts.

Initially, UK Broadband announced plans to resell the network to mobile operators, but no deals have been announced. Instead, the company has set up Now Broadband to offer 4G services directly to consumers.

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Now Broadband has four packages – two for home users, and two for businesses. The service is available weeks before EE launches its own 4G network, the first in the UK to be offered by a mobile operator.

To enjoy fixed wireless, users don’t need a phone line. The router will connect directly to the 4G network without any wires, and relay the data through the home or office using Wi-Fi. However, unlike mobile 4G services, the area where the connection is available will be quite limited (let’s hope it hits Aberdeenshire shores in the near future).

“In terms of business benefits, this service can either be the primary super fast Internet connection, or provide the secondary or resilient connection to ensure that local businesses and organisations are connected at all times,” said Nicholas James, CEO of Now Broadband, in a statement. “Always being connected is now an essential requirement in today’s business and increasingly cloud-based world.”

I totally agree, how many times have you left your home or office without your mobile, tablet, PDA or laptop and just felt completely cut off and lost. It’s a horrible feeling that an increasingly tech savvy race of beings should not have to suffer lol.

By Jonny Polea

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Source – UKBroadband

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Jonny Polea

Editor in Chief at Beginners Tech

I joined Beginners Tech as a Technical Journalist in July 2012 and have never looked back. I love tech, gadgets, games and electronics; whether they are retro, current or future concepts. My loving fiancé Sarah has said that when I receive new items for review I’m like a kid in a toy shop – unable to leave it alone for two minutes! Coming from a design background, I am passionate about the design and aesthetics of tech as well as functionality.