As Benny pointed out last month, WiMAX may take a while, but that is all the more reason why ambitious networking company The Cloud has become my first new friend of 2006.
What has it done for such a prestigious accolade? No less than declare plans to blanket cover nine UK cities with WiFi access by spring this year. Edinburgh, Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham, Nottingham, Oxford, Cambridge and three London boroughs: Islington, Kensington and Camden are on the hit list which will potentially reach in excess of 4m people.
You’ll need to be using BT Openzone, O2, SkypeZones or Nintendo WiFi to jump into the signal initially, but The Cloud said it expects other companies to hop aboard once everything is up and running. The company recently set live the monster wireless zone around Canary Wharf’s business district (spanning One Canada Square, Cabot Hall as well as across its four retail malls, restaurants, bars, gardens, promenades and numerous public spaces).
Better still, The Cloud boasts it will announce similar plans to cover further UK cities throughout the year. Perhaps that wait for WiMAX isn’t going to be so painful after all…?