Business Focus – The 4G Network

Southampton has always been quite advanced when it has come to new technology – how will it cope with the new 4G mobile network? We check it out and show the benefits of using it when staying with us.

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A 4G phone at the EE store in Southampton.

At this point we’re very confident. It’s about five times better than what’s currently in place,” the words of Neil Maxfield, regional manager for mobile network EE. The 4G network recently launched in Southampton after a short trial is one of 16 cities in the UK benefiting from super internet speed.

People of Southampton are now taking advantage of the new technology thanks to the EE network – formally T-Mobile and Orange – which is up to five times faster than the current networks available.

Neil continued, “Initially it will only be in the city but that is changing all the time, we will be adding more areas through the course of the year.

“By 2014 we’re going to have 98 per cent of the country with 4G coverage.”

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The 4G Network in the UK includes Southampton.

4G explained in super fast real time

4G is the forth generation in mobile network technology. Widely available on new Smartphones such as the iPhone5, Nokia and HTC to name a few. It makes download speeds five times faster, ideal for games, music and large e-mail files.

Can I get 4G outside of Southampton?

Yes. Since Ofcom awarded EE (Everything Everywhere – parent company to Orange and T-Mobile) the go ahead to run 4G it is available in 16 UK cities (Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Derby, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield, and Southampton).

Sounds a bit pricy?

As with anything tariff do vary according to your needs. EE are offering 500 mbs of data (the equivalent of downloading two one-hour programmes on BBC iPlayer) for £36 per month over a 24-month contract. Other network providers including Vodafone, 3, O2 etc will launch their versions in the Spring of 2013. Be aware that using 4G may use up more of your allocated minutes/MB time.

But what does this mean for you?

At the Town Or Country office we took two of our staffer mobiles phones – one with 3G and the other on the 4G network. We chose the same track on YouTube to compare speed. In the time it took the 3G to buffer the music video we chose, the 4G was already almost one minute into the song!

OK, so we are not going to be downloading songs all day long but from a business point of view one minute could be the time to make or break a contract or get that essential e-mail you need. With 8 – 12 Megabits available on this new network it makes it as good as the free Wi-Fi you get in all our apartments – all this on the move and in the palm of your hand.

It gives you the chance to get that all important data when out and about giving you more time to relax and chill in the evening after a busy day.

This is great news for the city and those who use their Smartphones for business or leisure. However, may be an idea to wait until next year when the prices are bound to be competitive among the network providers. All Town Or Country properties come with FREE Wi-Fi as standard.

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