Communicating fast

Telabria, the UK regional network operator, has launched its wide area wireless broadband network after six months of intensive trials in Kent, in South East England.


UK

regional network operator Telabria has launched its wide area wireless broadband network after six months of intensive trials in Kent, in South East England.

Targeted at both residential and business markets, the company’s Skylink service offers customers symmetric broadband speeds up to 10Mbit/sec, as well as voice-over-IP (VoIP) telephone service.

Telabria says that Skylink is the first network of its kind in the UK to offer combined data and voice over a WiMAX-class network to homes and businesses.

The Skylink backbone of high-capacity fibre and licensed band microwave links encompasses over 1,300 square kilometres (850 square miles) making it one of the largest next-generation wireless broadband networks in Europe, bringing services to Kent’s population of 675,000 households and 60,000 businesses.

The initial roll out of Skylink includes the city of Canterbury and borough of Swale, with additional urban, suburban and rural areas planned as part of Telabria’s ongoing Skylink network expansion throughout 2005 and 2006.

“In the UK symmetric broadband services are scarce outside metropolitan areas,” said Jim Baker, Telabria’s CEO and founder.

“In Kent, less than 16% of the telephone exchanges support symmetric DSL (SDSL) which means customers will be highly challenged to take advantage of emerging technologies such as VoIP and video conferencing which demand fast upload capability.”

Copper network based SDSL is range limited, with 2Mbit/sec services restricted to within just 1.6km (0.9 miles) of an exchange. Wi-MAX – the emerging standard for wireless networking – does not suffer from these limitations.

Skylink delivers a range of broadband packages from 1.5Mbit/sec to over 10Mbit/sec at distances up to 20km (12.5 miles) from the base station.