Ultrawifi - no-frill low cost wireless broadband

Last week, The Cloud announced that one could access Wifi from up to 7000 UK hotspots and hotzones for slightly less than £144 per year, in an unlimited fashion.

What separates the Cloud from other schemes is that its network is already in place and working well enough for the City of London, Skype, Nintendo, O2 and Vonage to have partnered with The Cloud.

While the technology - Wifi - is not as sexy as WiMax, it is cheap and available. More than 2 million people in the UK have installed WiFi access points at home and more than 30% of companies have Wifi between their office walls. Widespread availability, abundant literature and cheap prices means that it is very easy to get in the game.

However, forthcoming technology like Intel-backed WiMax and next generation mobile telephony might make UltraWifi obsolete in only a few years and Wifi's relatively low and fluctuating speed can be problematic. But until then, The Cloud can enjoy a quasi-monopoly at the lower end of the wireless internet spectrum.