EE launches 4G broadband antenna to connect rural homes struggling for internet signal
EE has launched a new 4G antenna to help provide rural homes across the UK with superfast broadband for the first time.
The telecoms giant says the new system could help more than 580,000 rural homes gain access to high-speed internet.
The solution uses a small antenna attached to the outside of a home, which then carries a 4G broadband signal inside via a cable to a connected 4GEE Home Router.
The launch follows a successful trial in the Northern Fells in Cumbria, where download speeds of more than 100Mbps were recorded - Ofcom defines superfast broadband as speeds greater than 30Mbps.
EE's Max Taylor said: "As our network continues to expand into some of the most remote parts of the UK, we've seen the amazing impact that 4G connectivity can have on rural communities.
"Our newest 4G home broadband router and antenna takes this one step further, ensuring thousands of families in rural areas across the UK could enjoy the benefits of superfast broadband inside their home for the very first time - whether video-calling the grandparents or streaming their favourite TV series."
Installation of the new antenna does not require a landline, EE said, and the firm is offering a range of monthly plans ranging from £35 to £60 a month, depending on data allowance.
A one-off payment of £100 is also required for professional installation of the antenna, the company confirmed.
The company has also launched a new Combined Line Checker service, which allows customers to enter their postcode to find out which broadband solution - fixed line or over 4G - is most suitable for them.
Rory Stewart, MP for Penrith and the Border, said the new antenna system could transform the lives of those in rural areas such as Cumbria.
"What EE is doing is transformative. One of the real challenges is getting fixed fibre into people's houses because they are so sparsely populated in rural areas," he said.
"The great thing about EE's new solution though is that it's wireless - allowing people to get superfast home broadband via 4G.
"As the number of new mobile masts continue to roll out, more and more areas of Cumbria will come online. With access to fast broadband, people's lives really will be transformed."