EE has announced its commitment to provide more than 1500 rural communities with 3G and 4G service by the end of 2017 through the deployment of a network of micro antennas. The technology, that does not require the installation of physical cables or large masts, will utilise small mobile antennas that can connect wirelessly to the nearest conventional area of coverage, dramatically reducing the cost of delivering service to hard to reach places.
Starting in early 2015, EE will be making voice services, as well as 3G and 4G mobile data coverage available in communities that currently don’t have reliable mobile or high speed broadband. The first community to be connected through trials of the new micro network technology is the small village of Sebergham in Cumbria. Sebergham has 129 dewellings and 347 residents, and sits in a deep valley.
The micro network can connect communities of around 100-150 homes and businesses, across an area of 0.5 square miles with just three or four small antennas. An antenna can be installed on to any building in just a few hours, and planning applications are not required.