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Today, Warwick. Tomorrow, Leamington Spa. 18 January, 2007

Posted by Jay Ball in internet, telecoms.
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Pipex has announced its second commercial trial of WiMAX in the UK. This is great news. Well it is if you live in Warwick. Oh and work for Warwick Council. You’ll be able to get an 8meg connection wherever you roam (within Warwick that is). They also plan to roll out the trial to those outside the council as well as to that digital hotbed, Leamington Spa.

WiMAX is often talked about as the holy grail of last mile / ubiquitous connectivity. The ability to have a robust broadband connection wherever, whenever. We’ve already covered Singapore‘s plans to offer full WiMAX coverage to every single person and business by 2015. It’s an ambitious plan and has some way to go (especially if like me, users can’t get speeds over 20 kB/sec when downloading from their site).

What I like about the Singapore approach is that there is a clear vision behind it. A sense of the greater good such a programme can achieve. Pipex’s, by comparison, seems to be all about technical feasibility and commercial viability. These are both good things, of course, and to be expected from a commercial organisation. They’re just not that exciting (and the prospect of the service being promoted eventually by David Hasslehoff frankly makes me a little nauseous).

But, you have to hope the programme is a success and spurs other providers to launch similar plans. And the prospect of high-quality ubiquitous connectivity is exciting. Of course, if you’ve paid out millions on a 3G license, it might be a little less so.

Sources:  Telecoms.com (registration required) and The Register

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