October 21, 2013

EE to Bring 4G Home Broadband to Rural Homes

4G Home Broadband

4G Home Broadband Coming to Rural Homes.

EE to Bring 4G Home Broadband to Rural Homes

Many rural areas are still stuck on fairly slow broadband connections, lacking the superfast speeds of BT Infinity and the like. In a lot of cases the connectivity gap between urban and rural locations has never seemed wider.

But that could be about to change, as EE is planning to launch the UK’s first commercially available 4G home broadband service.

The network has already trialled the service in the Northern Fells in Cumbria, bringing speeds of between 8 and 12 Mbps to residents of one of the most remote areas in the UK and following the success of the trial EE plans to expand the service to other rural areas.

Useful reading : 4GEE Arrives In One Of UK’s Least Built Up Areas

As EE already has 4G signals floating around much of the country, all that’s really required to access EE’s 4G home broadband is a compatible router, so hopefully the roll out to other locations should go fairly smoothly.

As yet EE hasn’t confirmed which areas will receive its 4G home broadband service or what the pricing will be, but during the trial customers were charged £15.99 per month for 3GB of data or £25.99 for 8GB, so it may well stay at around that level.

That’s pretty pricey, particularly when you consider that a 40GB BT Infinity connection for example is just over £30 per month, and that gives you speeds of up to 38 Mbps and includes line rental.

So while it is faster than current broadband connections in the area, at 8-12 Mbps it’s also still nowhere near as fast as high speed broadband.

Still, it’s a step in the right direction and with the governments own project to bring broadband to the countryside proceeding at a snail’s pace this should at least be a useful stopgap.

However EE sees it as more than just a stopgap, as its chief executive, Olaf Swantee, commented that “we think 4G can become an affordable alternative to fixed broadband in rural areas…The government is fixated on fixed, but mobile can provide a solution economically.”

Whether it really will prove economical all depends on how EE prices it. With specific pricing and plan announcements set for next month, we should know soon, but based on pricing during the trial and EE’s expensive 4G mobile pricing we’re not optimistic.

 

  • Stephen

    It might be expensive compared to Infinity & the likes but at least EE are giving us an option. BT are giving us no option and very little hope for the future.
    I for one can appreciate that is is more expensive to provide us rural users with a service and I would be willing to pay more for it than if I lived in a city. I’m just happy that someone is FINALLY considering our needs and giving us an option. Any service above 2MB/S is more than welcome in my eyes.

  • James Vincent

    I live in a village just outside Cardiff, so speeds are kinda decent. But while BT are working hard in the city with fiber cabinets popping up everywhere it reminds me that they drag their feet if you’re outside an urban area. I’m glad EE are making an effort on this. Rural places need to be the focus now. But no one wants to know. People need broadband access, speeds need increasing from poor 0.5mbps. Well done to EE

  • Jonathan Price

    Three already provides DC-HSDPA connectivity (aka Three Ultrafast Internet) to 80%+ of UK population including a lot of the rural areas. I’m using it in three rural locations in Somerset where I cannot get fibre, and getting speeds of 10-16 Mbps during the day with unlimited data. This is roughly four times faster than my existing ADSL and is available today in many rural locations.

    • Kevin Thomas

      Hi Jonathan

      You are very lucky indeed. Mind you please don’t overlook the fact that EE has double speed 4G in a great number of cities and will trial 4G LTE Advanced in November in London with the aim of rolling it out in 2014. This will bring speeds of twenty times faster than 3G. More details here EE Working on 4G LTE Advanced, Promising Speeds 20 Times Faster Than 3G

      PS It may be that Three don’t launch 4G until 2015 in some parts or all of Somerset so its great that you find your 3G working well.
      More here Three 4G Network Summary