Rural areas of Britain who are fenced out of the digital economy by a lack of business broadband received a boost this week as a device able of providing them with Internet speeds of up to 7Mb over WiFi was unveiled.
The WiBE (Wireless Broadband Enabler) receives a 3G signal and transforms it into a WiFi connection so devices such as smartphones, laptops and VoIP phones can get online in areas that would normally struggle for connectivity.
South West based firm Deltenna, who produce the WiBE device, claim it can offer up to 30 times better performance than regular 3G dongles. They also claim WiBE can reach speeds of 7.2Mb over WiFi, which would help previously unconnected businesses utilise VoIP and Internet technologies.
A Deltenna spokesman said WiBE had been tested in several areas around the UK that suffer from poor Internet connections, including Wiltshire, North Wales and the Lake District:
“In Clynnog Fawr in Wales the device managed speeds of up to 792Kb where there is almost no discernable signal, while in Wiltshire it was hitting up to 3Mb,” he said.
“The device could certainly help businesses in rural areas get online.”
The WiBE device will now allow UK businesses in areas of low connectivity to finally take advantage of the benefits of business VoIP, including lower call charges, improved flexibility and location independence. In turn, they will now be better placed to compete for business with their better-connected counterparts across the UK.
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(Image by Rick Harris)