May 13, 2014

4G could start to replace broadband in rural locations

Rural 4G

Village of Great Shefford

For most people 4G is a high speed, convenient upgrade from the 3G networks of old, allowing them to quickly and smoothly browse the web and stream songs on the move and even stream high definition video and download large files, which is something that was almost unheard of on 3G.

But when they get home or into work we’d wager that most people switch to Wi-Fi. Not so in some parts of the UK. In the village of Great Shefford for example, Vodafone has revealed that residents are starting to use its 4G service in preference to broadband, which there, as in many other villages, is slow and unreliable.

The network discovered that its 4G service is being used both for work and play by residents of the village, one of which reported that even in their own home Vodafone’s 4G signal was more consistent than their broadband, while another resident claimed that broadband speeds would normally max out at 3.5Mbps, which is far lower than what you can get on 4G.

Ultimately the village is likely to get high speed broadband, but that looks to be around a year away and in the meantime Vodafone’s 4G service is proving a superior alternative to the current broadband connections.

And it’s not just Great Shefford or just Vodafone. Presumably other isolated villages around the UK will be finding 4G similarly useful through whichever networks they’re able to get signal on.

It’s not a perfect solution, 4G prices are in many cases higher than broadband prices and data caps are often more restrictive. Plus many rural locations still won’t have 4G available to them as the networks are understandably prioritising towns and cities over villages, but for those that do it’s a surprisingly useful option, demonstrating that in many cases 4G is more than just a commuter tool and can really change the way people live, work and communicate.

Looking to find out more about Vodafone,’s 4G coverage?

  • Stephen

    I for one will be using 4G as a replacement for my landline as soon as it reaches my house. I think that rural users with less than 2MB/S speeds are far more likely to switch to 4G services in their droves than urban users who may already have fibre broadband, or speeds which are sufficient for basic internet use. Plus they may already have a strong enough 3G signal. Yes we will have to pay a higher price for the service than those with fibre but at least we will have a reasonable option now should we wish to use it.