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Ultrawifi - no-frill low cost wireless broadband

Last week, The Cloud (opens in new tab) 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.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.