EE unveils shoebox-sized router to boost Brit bumpkin broadband

EE broadband

EE broadband

EE has said its 4G network can reach 90 per cent of the United Kingdom, which should hit 95 per cent by 2020.

EE, which is part of the BT group, conducted customer trials in the Northern Fells area of Cumbria in association with the Northern Fells Broadband initiative to boost coverage to homes.

EE's Simon Till said the "shoebox-size" antenna would let more people access the company's 4G broadband service.

EE is launching a 4G broadband antenna created to connect 580,000 rural homes suffering from poor broadband coverage.

The news comes as United Kingdom broadband providers ramp up their efforts to deliver higher speeds through fibre, with TalkTalk and Openreach announcing new pushes on FTTH this month.

Andrew Ferguson, a widely acknowledged expert on broadband of the news site Thinkbroadband.com, was quoted saying that the farmers of rural areas are often seen putting up masts on the edge of their property where it receives signal.

The antenna is fitted to the side of the property by an installation provider and connects to the interior router via a cable, meaning thick property walls should not be an issue.

EE broadband
EEEE says it will use its 4G network to supply better speeds to rural areas

The service was launched alongside an online coverage checker, which allows customer to assess both fixed and mobile availability in their postcode and choose the best option accordingly.

EE marketing managing director Max Taylor said: "As our network continues to expand into some of the most remote parts of the United Kingdom, we've seen the wonderful impact that 4G connectivity can have on rural communities". Reports claim EE's project to be first-of-its-kind in providing superfast broadband services to more than thousands of rural homes.

"What EE is doing is transformative", said Rory Stewart, MP for Penrith and The Border.

Customers will initially have to pay a £100 fee to have the "powerful external antenna" installed on their home, typically mounted up high, and facing towards the nearest mobile phone mast. 4GEE Home Router will go straight from the box allowing up to 32 devices to connect to it at once.

The cost of introductory packages starts from £35 to £60 including the 4GEE Home Router for customers who sign up for the 4GEE Home pay monthly plan.

But being as this is a mobile 4G connection and not fixed-line solution, data allowances are a factor which means that there may be no bingeing on Netflix series for example.

More information about the 4G antenna can be found here, and a video of the solution is here. Fixed-line connections typically allow for "unlimited" data.


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