If you are unable to access the superfast fibre services available in Northumberland you may want to consider looking at broadband delivered over 4G. This technology is sometimes known as mobile broadband as it uses the mobile phone network.

4G services are available in an ever-growing number of locations across Northumberland and 4G broadband can be deployed almost immediately.

4G Internet is currently the only supplier who is part of the better broadband scheme and can provide 4G broadband services in Northumberland. The information on this page is provided in conjunction with 4G Internet and more detailed information about the specific services available can be found at www.4g-internet.co.uk

How does 4G Broadband work?

4G signals are transmitted by mobile phone networks over masts, which are connected to the wider internet. It is these same signals that give you internet access on your mobile phone when you’re out and about.

With the right equipment you can also use the 4G network to access a fast and robust broadband service at your home or business for PCs, Macs, smart TV or any internet-connected device, providing that the property is in an area with good 4G signal strength. In Northumberland, the 4G coverage is improving all the time and is now available in many rural areas, not just the main towns.

4G Broadband - How it Works
4G Broadband – How it Works

It is possible in some cases to receive 4G broadband services by tethering to a mobile phone or via a portable mobile broadband “MiFi” device or dongle.

However to get the strongest 4G reception, and the best possible performance, it is necessary to install a small external 4G antenna ① to a suitably facing outside wall. This is then cabled to a combined 4G modem/Wifi router ② inside your premises.  This also means that users get a good level of service inside the property even if the 4G networks’ coverage checkers only report “outdoor coverage only” at the location.

Once the antenna has been installed and cabled up, all that’s then necessary is for a SIM card to be inserted into the rear of the modem/router and within a few minutes you’ll be online.

4G broadband services are eligible for financial support towards the set up costs, however please note that the installation of an external 4G antenna is mandatory if the equipment is supplied under the better broadband scheme.

For more information about how 4G broadband works, including information on data usage limits and latency visit www.4g-internet.co.uk/4G-is-different or call 4G Internet on 03333 447700.

What about 5G?

Northumberland County Council does not have a 5G strategy and at present doesn’t have one in development.

Work has been ongoing for some time however at the North East LEP regarding 5G in the region and what this might mean. We will post updates here in due course.

As with 2G, 3G and 4G, the 5G infrastructure would not be deployed / operated by the County Council and would instead be driven by the commercial market. As such it would not be unreasonable to expect that the deployment would progress in a similar fashion to previous generations, with dense urban areas seeing services first followed by less dense urban, with the more remote rural areas being some time later in their plans.

The current estimates for widespread 5G coverage in the UK are sometime in the mid twenties (2022-2025), although this will be driven by market conditions, customer adoption and the regulatory environment.

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