UK Broadband has launched a new service called Relish, a 4G LTE broadband offering which aims to show that wireless surfing isn't just for mobiles, and that a dedicated 4G data network can replace fixed line broadband – at least for users in London where the service is launching to begin with.
Currently, of course, you need a phone line to get broadband, even if you never actually use your landline phone (many folks make all their calls via mobiles these days). Relish is saying to potential customers that they can ditch their landline and save those monthly rental costs, taking out a 4G broadband plan instead with the promise of "fibre-fast" speeds.
Relish also promises a simple setup via a plug-and-play hub, along with unlimited usage on its Home package which costs £20 per month, with the Huawei router (pictured above) free if you sign up for a year. If you want a monthly rolling contract instead, the monthly cost is still £20, but there'll be an up-front setup cost of £50. You can be up and running the next day after ordering the service (unlike traditional broadband, of course, which relies on magic telecoms imps to summon your service activation, a ritual which can take some considerable time).
Considering line rental is around £15 per month generally before the cost of broadband is factored in, £20 per month is indeed a compelling sounding price point. The worry is whether a wireless connection can be as reliable and quick as a fixed line – though Relish promises fibre speeds of "up to 65Mbps" to Londoners who are in range of its service.
Obviously connection speeds will vary depending on all sorts of issues, and the proof, as always, will be in the pudding; but it's definitely an intriguing idea for those who'd love to dump their landline.
Nicholas James, the CEO of UK Broadband, commented: "Central London is home to some of the world's most talented and busy people, who have to suffer long delays in getting their broadband service set up and pay a 'landline tax' for a service they often don't need. Relish wants to give Londoners the broadband they deserve – and will shake up the market with a fair and transparent service that meets the digital demands of modern Londoners."
Those in central London can get the service now – you can use the area checker to see if you're eligible. Expansion across Greater London is planned next, and then to other UK cities and towns going forward.