EE rolls out 4G to the internet-less country folk

EE rolls out 4G to the internet-less country folk
They'll still just watch YouTube videos of cats though

EE's 4G plans continue apace as it serves up to 10x faster speeds to rural areas, with average speeds of 8-12Mbps.

Currently the UK's only 4G provider, EE has been running a 4G trial in Threlkeld for months now, and has now extended that to larger parts of Cumbria.

It's claiming that speeds of up to 20Mbps were seen during those trials, but EE is claiming residents of the 100 square miles of Northern Fells area will receive around half that on average. Given that some residents experienced speeds of sub-2Mbps, and some are without internet at all, that will probably do for them in the short term.

What's interesting about this deployment is that it still uses EE's 1800MHz spectrum (no, wait, that is interesting, we promise). There are three frequencies used in the UK for 4G: 800Mhz, 1800MHz and 2.6GHz, and the former is meant to be the one that delivers 4G to wider areas thanks to its massively increased transmission range.

Longer, Better, Faster, Stronger?

If EE can deliver wireless broadband speeds to rural areas using the mid-range power band, then it bodes well for later in the year when all the other networks will be offering rural 4G broadband on the 800MHz spectrum.

Broadband coverage

EE gained a smaller slice of the 800MHz band in the recent 4G auction, so it will be interesting to see if it continues with its current plans and saves that longer-range frequency for the REALLY far away territories. Off the top of our heads, we'd speculate the Moon will be up for 4G soon.

But if you're one of the 2000 residents that will be covered by the Cumbria rollout, which promises 84% coverage by summer this year, you can expect 4G prices to start at £15.99 per month for broadband coverage – although that will probably shoot up quickly depending on your data usage.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.