Freedom4 gets okay to roll out mobile WiMAX in U.K.

Freedom4, which is part owned by Intel Capital, said telecom regulator Ofcom has changed the company's license conditions, allowing Freedom4 to offer mobile WiMAX services across the U.K.

Freedom4 said Ofcom's move will enable it to launch a mobile WiMAX broadband product to directly compete with the country's five mobile network operators. The company, which will use WiMAX equipment supplied by Starent, owns the largest WiMAX broadband wireless spectrum license consisting of two blocks of 84 MHz in the frequency band 3.6-4.2GHz. However, the company has not detailed any deployment timescales and its existing fixed WiMAX coverage would appear to be very limited. Part of the new conditions granted by Ofcom will permit Freedom4 to increase the maximum permitted base station power.

Meanwhile, Motorola has agreed to provide a portion of the $100 million that the Irish network operator, Imagine, needs to replace its existing wireless nationwide infrastructure with WiMAX. Motorola said it would also provide deployment, integration and support services to Imagine in addition to WiMAX equipment.

Imagine said that its fixed WiMAX service was already in operation, and phase one of the rollout covering 250,000 homes in Dublin, Wexford, Sligo, Tralee and Athlone would be completed by mid-November 2009.

These two WiMAX announcements follow on from Clearwire International's statement that it would offer mobile WiMAX in two Spanish cities starting next year.

For more on this story:
- read this Cellular News article
- see this ISP Review article

Related stories:
Clearwire comes to Spain with mobile WiMAX
WiMAX: A niche market only, says supporter
French WiMAX deployment in disarray
Nokia pulls out of WiMAX

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