Today saw the news that Ofcom has allowed Everything Everywhere (the network used by Orange and T-Mobile) to use its existing network to deliver 4G services. (Press Release)
This means that earlier than expected, faster mobile broadband speeds will be available using 4G LTE (Long-Term Evolution) technology, delivering superior download and upload speeds wirelessly.
This decision has shocked and disappointed the other big players in the mobile industry, namely Vodafone and O2. They feel that the sector will be unduly distorted by allowing early entry into the market by a dominant company.
So what does this mean for Lincolnshire?
Well, OnLincolnshire has been ramping up the campaign for better broadband for Lincolnshire, by using a significant pot of money to encourage investment in fibre networks across the county. Excellent as this campaign is, fibre is costly to install, and it is hard to see how it can be commercially viable in hard to reach places and small villages.
4G technology offers a more cost-effective solution to deliver superfast broadband to the whole population of Lincolnshire. However, significant investment is needed by the mobile companies to upgrade its existing 3G network to deliver the faster speeds demanded by consumers.
Lincolnshire should be building relationships with these mobile providers (starting with Everything Everywhere) to deliver this network. Wireless technology is the next logical step to a truly connected county. If this network can be delivered, then it will attract investment, deliver jobs and growth for our communities and will attract people to come and make their home in our county.