PCCW Launching Wireless Broadband In The UK

Seems like quite a day for big wireless broadband announcements. PCCW has officially launched their expected commercial service into the wireless broadband market in the UK, and it looks like a fairly compelling offer. They’re offering two tiers that compete directly with BT’s DSL, both of which are very competitive with other broadband offerings in the UK. It’s worth noting, by the way, that the Financial Times piece linked above calls the offering WiMax – which is clearly untrue since there is no WiMax standard yet. However, it does demonstrate how some in the press are already trying to turn WiMax into a generic term meaning all wireless broadband. The actual press release does not show PCCW referring to it as WiMax themselves. Derek adds: The reason no one at PCCW has called it Wimax is because it IS NOT. PCCW is using the UMTS TDD standard, which is an existing standard (under the 3GPP) with multiple global commercial launches. Although UMTS TDD is a mobile technology, OFTEL (the regulator) is requiring PCCW to disable hand-off so that the UK service does not compete with cellular data services, but has only limited (same cell sector) mobility and competes with fixed-line broadband. The modems used here are USB paperback sized, or PCMCIA, and users self-install. Despite the fact that there are other great technologies out there, the WiMAX hype is eating everything in its path.

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