Cumbrian firms wait to hear on superfast 4G mobile rollout
Last updated at 12:25, Wednesday, 22 August 2012
Businesses in Cumbria are still waiting to find out how quickly the area can hook up to a newly announced roll-out of next generation broadband.
A clutch of firms in the county have recently been given tantalising access to turbo-charged broadband as part of a six week trial.
It has involved using 4G mobile technology – up to seven times faster than 3G - which many people use on smart phones and tablets for browsing the internet.
Provided by Everything, Everywhere - the owners of the T-Mobile and Orange Networks – the trial has pulled around 50 business in rural Cumbria out of the internet slow lane and into the fast lane.
The trial was masterminded by Penrith MP Rory Stewart but is now coming to and end. Everything, Everywhere were yesterday given official approval to roll 4G out UK-wide from September.
But firms in the county are still in the dark about how quickly Cumbria can access the new technology or whether they’ll be at the back of the queue of an infrastructure programme.
Commentators have suggested Cumbria may not be a priority with the focus likely to be on connecting large conurbations to 4G first for commercial reasons, rather than sparsely-populated rural areas.
Everything Everywhere would only say that the trial is continuing in Cumbria and there are no plans to end it “at this time”.
A spokeswoman said: “Everything Everywhere is planning for a 4G rollout but we don’t have any details available on this (what it means for Cumbria) yet.”
Tim Ellis is a co-director of James Walker Ellis Associates, a photography and graphic design company based on the Blencathra Business estate at Threlkeld near Keswick.
Mr Ellis said the company had been using a 4G router as part of the trial and it has propelled speeds from a third to a half a megabit per second (mbps), to 10mbps – making it 20 times faster. He explained how the business sometimes has to upload files as large as 100mb to send to clients, which had caused a massive drain on the office network.
Mr Ellis said: “My understanding is that the trial will continue for a time and then eventually the service will be made more widely available and become a permanent option for us. What this has done is levelled the playing field. “
James Walker, of the company said: “The rollout of 4G finally provides a real and viable solution.”
First published at 11:24, Wednesday, 22 August 2012
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk
Have your say
Another Update!EE have just updated their coverage map to include:Aspatria, Plumbland, Blennerhasset,Torpenhow, a good chunk of the B5405 up to and beyond Welton, Abbeytown and most of Kirkbride...and a load of new places to the South of Carlisle going down the M6....it's sprawling out in all directions really.........but I don't think they've switched it all on yet - least not down by Aspatria. Any day now....it's all on the coverage checker over at http://coverage.ee.co.uk/ee/coveragechecker.html
Update :EE 4G is now available in Wigton. I've been getting anywhere between 20 and 50mbits downloading and 8 to 20 uploading.It's strong in the town centre and West side, but in the South it gets weaker. It appears to be running along the A596 - as there is a strong signal in Waverton and beyond, which dissapates a couple of miles out from Aspatria.At this rate, I would imagine 4G will land in Aspatria in the next 2 weeks.I'm hoping that they'll also be upgrading the masts along the A595.
View all 10 comments on this article