End of the line for line rental with new 4G broadband service Relish

Relish is a new broadband service for London that ditches your landline for 4G, putting an end to line rental charges.

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Relish is a 4G broadband network for London. Rich Trenholm/CNET

When was the last time you used your landline? If your mobile has turned your home phone into a paperweight, a new 4G broadband service for London aims to save you £16 each month by banishing line rental.

British broadband usually works by piping your Internet excitement in through a phone line to specific premises with a specific number. Because the phone network is still the domain of BT -- or more precisely, the infrastructure company BT Openreach -- that means you have to whack £16 line rental on top of your broadband bill each month.

Relish unshackles you from the phone line and cuts out line rental by zapping the Internet to you through the air over its own 4G network. Because you're not tied to a fixed phone line, there's no installation required: order a Relish router and it arrives the next day on a takeaway-style scooter, whereupon all you have to do is plug in the power and tether your phone, laptop or tablet to the router over Wi-Fi.

Not only is there no installation fee and no engineer visit, but because it's not tied to a specific phone number, when you move you simply take the router with you, set it up in your new digs and start surfing.

There are no long-term contracts, either: you can sign up for a 30-day rolling contract and cancel anytime. If you find the signal isn't up to scratch, simply return the box within 14 days of receipt for a full refund.

Prices and coverage

Relish offers four products: two business options for companies of different sizes, a home broadband option and a mobile dongle.

The home broadband includes a play-and-play router made by Huawei, packed with TD-LTE and 802.11ac Wi-Fi. A monthly contract starts at £20, but you do have to buy the router for £50. Paying more each month gets you a free router. The best bit is Relish promises no data cap, no traffic shaping and no fair use policy limiting your home broadband use.

The 4G mobile dongle costs £35 and comes with deals starting at £10 per month for 1GB of data. You can buy extra data if you need it, but if your monthly allowance goes unused it doesn't roll over.

Relish Home customers get £5 knocked off their dongle fees. Pay-as-you-go options are also coming later.

The 4G network covers London from Kensington in the west to Canary Wharf in the east, as far north as Shoreditch to Southwark in the south. Relish promises an average of 30Mbps, but your actual speeds will depend on the signal quality in your building -- one area where fixed-line broadband still has a distinct advantage.

Should you leave London to wander among the provincial peasants, the mobile dongle falls back on Three's 3G network. Although they wouldn't give a timescale, spokespeople for Relish said at today's launch that 4G broadband is on the cards for other UK cities too.

Relish replaces Now Broadband, and existing customers are being switched over to the new service.

 

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