Long-time, handsome, intelligent readers will know that Vodafone have a solution for rural signal issues. It basically involves installing a ramped-up version of their Vodafone Sure Signal into rural communities to enhance the coverage.
Now EE are on a similar mission, but with 4G home broadband antennas sitting outside the home to deliver superfast broadband to households. Their 4G coverage stretches further than others, so they’re now offering a professionally-installed 4G antenna which pulls in the mobile signal. This then gets pumped out via a WiFi hotspot, and it can be as fast as a fibre connection.
EE have also now incorporated fixed and mobile broadband coverage into one checker, so you can see whether traditional wired broadband is more suitable than mobile broadband, or the other way around.
Wait a minute though…. It’s all very nice seeing an EE guy getting up his ladders and wiring all this into a lovely cottage in the middle of nowhere, but it’s gotta cost a lot, right? Well, not so. The 4GEE Home Router is included on the 4GEE Home pay monthly plan. Introductory packages from range from £35 to £60. If you have an existing EE pay monthly phone plan or a 12 month SIM only plan, EE will boost the monthly data allowance by an extra 5GB.
You can, if you wish, add on the antenna that the EE engineer is installing. This will basically ensure that you get the best connection to the EE network. It’s like standing in your loft with your phone held up all the time. :)
The cost for the engineer? A one-off payment of £100. This gets you a powerful external antenna pointing at the nearest mast at the most appropriate location on your house. As most homes in these rural areas have thick walls, the antenna is connected to the 4GEE Home Router (which is inside the home) by a cable. This eliminates any loss of signal, improving both the speed and consistency of the 4GEE Home Router. The antenna has been designed for use on properties with good outdoor coverage but variable indoor coverage.
Customer trials in the Northern Fells area of Cumbria have delivered speeds of over 100Mbps already. Currently many homes in rural Cumbria can only get limited broadband access through fixed-line solutions. EE predicts that there are 580,000 homes with slow or no fixed line access which could benefit from the solution.
Here’s a look at it in action..
Max Taylor, Managing Director of Marketing at EE, tells us..
As our network continues to expand into some of the most remote parts of the UK, we’ve seen the amazing impact that 4G connectivity can have on rural communities. Our newest 4G home broadband router and antenna takes this one step further, ensuring thousands of families in rural areas across the UK could enjoy the benefits of superfast broadband inside their home for the very first time – whether video-calling the grandparents or streaming their favourite TV series.
As this uses the EE 4G network, there’s no need to pay a line rental, and – with or without the external antenna – it’s ready to go out of the box. Up to 32 devices can connect to it at once.
Head to www.ee.co.uk/4GEErouter for more information.
Oh and yes, as you’ll see below, these customers are getting 100Mbps – that’s more than a lot of people in urban communities! :)