EE has started introducing ‘micro network’ technology that can provide mobile coverage to remote areas. However, unlike rival services - such as Vodafone’s Open Sure Signal - the EE rural micro network solution doesn’t require a broadband connection. Instead, it links to the main network wirelessly.
More than 1,500 communities are due to be connected by the new EE service within the next three years. They’ll receive voice service along with 3G and 4G mobile data.
Sebergham, a village of 347 people in Cumbria, is the first location to be connected using EE’s micro network.
Duncan Fairbairn, a Cumbria county councillor, said “The mobile service here is either non-existent or spasmodic at best. And the broadband is incredibly slow and very unreliable. In rural communities like Sebergham, being connected to good, reliable mobile coverage can make a significant difference to everyday life and we need fast broadband. We’re delighted to be the first community in the UK to benefit from this EE initiative, and there are more villages in my parish that I know will benefit hugely from this, and they’re excited to be connected next.”
According to EE, its micro network is based on technology designed by Parallel Wireless. It can connect up to 150 homes and businesses across an area of 0.5 square miles with just three or four antennas. This equipment can be fixed to buildings in just a few hours without any need for planning applications.