WiMax trials reach Stratford-upon-Avon

Pipex is to hold a small trial of the high-speed wireless technology in the Midlands, after technical tests have been completed

Another area of the UK is set to get a taste of WiMax this year — the Midlands will be the next region to trial the long-range wireless broadband technology, it has emerged.

The six-month pilot will be run by ISP Pipex with kit from Airspan in Stratford-on-Avon. The pair are hoping the experiment will give them a better idea of which services and equipment work best with WiMax connectivity.

The trial will be broken down into two phases. The first phase will see the companies carrying out technical service tests, the second will involve 20 to 50 users undertaking residential trials of the WiMax service.

The two companies will also be using the trial to examine consumer reaction to the WiMax technology. Users will be expected to install their own modem and will be able to route their voice calls over the WiMax connection.

Should all go to plan with the Stratford-on-Avon project, Pipex and Airspan will start to look at new uses for WiMax, including using the technology with laptop data cards and landline and mobile handsets. An Airspan spokesman said no timeframe is set for the next phase of the project.

The Midlands rollout will create the second WiMax network in England. The first, set up by Telabria, was piloted in the Canterbury area earlier this year.

Telabria announced today that the company has secured more than £1m of funding, which the company will use to expand its WiMax offerings for south-east England.