Industry voice: Is 4G LTE developing fast enough in the UK?

During mid-2013 and 2014, there was a noticeable apathy in clients around the 4G proposition– consumers merely didn’t feel the need to upgrade their mobile web. There was an initial confusion around what 4G might offer, where and when it was offered and how smartphone owners could use it without striking information usage restrictions.

Combined with the slow rollout of networks and facilities in between mid-2013 and 2014, the reward to sign up with the ‘4G revolution’ was weak, with consumer expectations on service and connection not satisfied to the exact same standards as 3G. Despite a collective push by the pacesetters EE in late 2012, the network had to confess it faced teething troubles when it pertained to the LTE rollout.

Customer confidence was shaken with a lack of coverage, and with most of early on-the-go mobile browsing including checking e-mails and checking out information, the hunger for 4G didn’t actually exist.

Better living through 4G

EE set the tone in enlightening customers on the value of 4G and the advantages in terms of enhancing lives with better connection. Just recently, rich media material and online apps have ended up being increasingly popular, triggering a higher requirement for 4G, but protection was merely too restricted to major cities to be a tempting proposition.

However, there has actually been a rebirth of late– with the addition of the Cornish town Saltash to its 4G network, EE declares to offer protection to 73 % of the UK population, over 250 towns and cities.

CEO of EE, Olaf Swantee, stated: ‘This is a landmark in our work to bring superfast mobile web to as lots of people in as numerous places as possible. We understand the benefits that 4G offers to customers and businesses, and we’re investing greatly in locations that have not formerly had great mobile or fixed line protection where those advantages can have an ever higher effect.’

Although EE is the forerunner in 4G, deciding to develop its brand off the back of the 4G pledge and providing the most extensive UK protection, other gamers in the market such as O2, Vodafone and 3 have actually closed the gap.

This competition has caused a heavy push of 4G from all significant sellers, with an expectation that by 2015, 4G will be the only network offered in new contracts and upgrades.

Problem areas

However, all that said, the fact is the UK is still lagging behind other countries in the 4G race, both in regards to coverage accessibility and speed (information from Mobiles. co. uk Coverage Map):

It is clear that there is some catching up to be done, both in enlightening the basic customer and businesses on the benefits of 4G, along with ensuring they can in fact make full use of the network. The ideal 4G connection can link businesses in backwoods with comparable speeds found in city centers. While cell phones become more advanced, customers can delight in the full use of their abilities when incorporated with 4G.

With a variety of flexible and competitive 4G plans readied to be offered by major sellers, and a race to provide the most UK coverage, 4G will inevitably be the future of mobile broadband, however the journey will be far rougher than previously believed.