Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Wireless ISP Relish Launches 1Gbps “Full Fibre” Home Broadband Package


In a curious move Relish Wireless, which is a fixed wireless ISP in London and Swindon that was acquired by Three UK, has updated their website to offer a new range of “Home Fibre” broadband services that claim to offer a “full fibre experience” with ultrafast download speeds from 50Mbps to 1Gbps.

Apparently the new service can be installed within 5 working days, comes with no hidden charges or installation fees, includes “unlimited” usage (an ‘Acceptable Use Policy’ may apply), a 12 month contract, a “Home Hub” router (BT will surely love that name choice) and the site says “no landline needed“.

Furthermore the website promises that customers will “enjoy the full fibre broadband experience with ultrafast download speeds up to a whopping 1Gbps” (an asterisk notes that 1Gbps speed connections to a single device can “only be achieved through a wired connection”). Otherwise the three primary packages being promoted are as follows.

Relish Home Fibre Unlimited 1Gbps
£70 inc. VAT per month

Relish Home Fibre Unlimited 250Mbps
£40 per month

Relish Home Fibre Unlimited 50Mbps
£25 per month

The fact that the service can be installed within just 5 working days indicates that the network must already be present in order for it to be taken, which would be fine for their fixed wireless infrastructure but all the talk of “full fibre” makes us confused as to whether or not this is potentially a FTTP/H product.

We did run a coverage check on some known OpenreachFTTP postcodes but came up empty, while known wireless postcodes for Relish’s network produced much lower estimated speeds (“up to 20Mbps” etc.) than the above packages are claiming (the latter is what we’d expect from their old wireless packages, but not the new service).

Relish’s existing wireless network has struggled to achieve its originally advertised 40Mbps peak and so it would take a major upgrade to turn that around. Three UK have previously hinted at their plans to use Relish, which they purchased from UK Broadband Ltd. (PCCW) earlier this year, to foster a national fixed wireless network that could serve 40% of the UK population but so far there have been no further updates (here).

Under the above proposal Relish could harness their primary 3.5GHz to 3.6GHz spectrum bands (they also own a bit of spectrum in the 3.9GHz, 28GHz and 40GHz bands) in order to support such a service. Three UK has also hinted that they may use some of this for a future 5G product.

At this point we only have the information on their website to go off, which leaves more than a few unanswered questions and we are chasing the provider for details.

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