Westminster to Host UK’s first true WiMAX Network

UK company Urban Wimax is claiming to have launched the UK’s first true WiMAX service for businesses in Westminster saying the £4.4 million investment will help businesses in central London realise the benefits of WiMAX connectivity. Over 250 businesses in London have volunteered to test-drive the latest high speed wireless connection.

Customers are to be connected from April and participants in the initial roll-out range from large corporates, to film, media and financial companies. A Member of Parliament will also take part, with a view to using the Urban Wimax service for their office within the Houses of Parliament.

Initial sites have been chosen for their wide range of application needs, enabling Urban Wimax to prove the technology’s capabilities, which include wireless 10Mb upload and CCTV through to business critical voice and video. The company is the first to deploy a network using the WiMAX 802.16d 2004 standard in the UK.

Participants will test-drive the service free of charge, with a full commercial launch of Urban Wimax’s service planned for the third quarter of 2006. The service provides 10Mb symmetric (10Mb upload and download) connections at 50% to 70% of the cost of comparable services. Urban Wimax’s use of advanced WiMAX mapping software (the fruition of a ten year research and development project) enables the company to solve the problem of non-line of sight delivery of WiMAX services in dense urban areas.

Sasha Williamson, Founder and CEO of Urban Wimax, comments: “The potential for WiMAX is enormous. Wireless connectivity is no longer just about Wi-Fi connections to the internet in your office meeting room or Starbucks, it’s a primary data connection, offering all the security guarantees that businesses require. WiMAX was designed with security, quality and reliability at its core.”

Damien Anderson, Operations Manager from MainspringUK, one of the chosen participants commented, “For us WiMAX is a very compelling network connection option because our needs are not currently being served by other technologies out there. Urban Wimax’s innovative technology will provide us with what we need: a 3-10Mb connection, security and reliability. Crucially though we need a symmetric service – high speed download alone is not enough – and we are not prepared to pay over the odds for such a straight-forward requirement.”

Urban Wimax has signed a lead financing agreement for £16.95m in funding, £1.7m of which is earmarked for this first phase of network roll-out, with a further £2.7 million available as introductory offers for businesses in Westminster. This will be rapidly followed by £3m to establish a profitable business across London, and then £12m to launch the service in at least nine other major UK cities.
The company is launching its service with an initial offer worth £1,353 per connection. Businesses will receive installation, equipment, and three months of connection at no cost, with no obligation.