Tag Archives: Wi-Fi

Ericsson Connects Chelsea FC

Chelsea Football Club appoints Ericsson as Connected Venue Partner

  • Ericsson unveiled as connectivity partner for Stamford Bridge – Chelsea Football Club’s home stadium in Fulham, London
  • Small Cell as a Service business model sees Ericsson designing, building and operating a carrier-grade Wi-Fi network on the customer’s behalf
  • Visitors to the stadium will enjoy a richer experience that enables them to interact digitally with each other, the club, friends and family

Ericsson  has been unveiled as the connectivity partner for Stamford Bridge – Chelsea Football Club’s home stadium in Fulham, London. Free Wi-Fi coverage will be provided via the Small Cell as a Service connected venue business model whereby Ericsson designs, builds and operates the network on the customer’s behalf. As a result, Chelsea FC will be able to provide fans throughout the stadium with a richer experience that enables them to interact digitally with each other, the club, friends and family.

In winning their fifth Premier League title in 2016/2017, Chelsea FC sold out every home match day at Stamford Bridge. Many fans used their smartphones to share photos and videos via social media, often stretching cellular networks to the limit. To ensure visitors can enjoy a seamless digital experience, Ericsson will design, build and operate a carrier-grade Wi-Fi access network and then manage it on Chelsea FC’s behalf.

Chris Townsend, Chelsea FC commercial director, says: “We look forward to a rich partnership with Ericsson which will directly assist the thousands of fans who come regularly to Stamford Bridge. Ericsson leads the way in providing innovative digital solutions and we welcome them to the Chelsea family.”

Arun Bansal, Senior Vice President, Europe & Latin America, Ericsson, says: “Our research indicates that people want to use their digital devices wherever they go – and the urge to connect is even greater at a Chelsea FC home game. Through this partnership, we will ensure the connectivity at Stamford Bridge matches the quality of the football and look forward to exploring further options that will enable Chelsea FC to take the digital experience to the next level.”

Small Cell as a Service supports service providers’ cellular go-to-market models, enables businesses to monetize Wi-Fi, provides a business case for network build-out and improves end-user experience. In 2015, Legia Warsaw became the first football club in Europe to sign a Small Cell as a Service contract with Ericsson. In 2016, Ericsson became the connectivity partner for the Ricoh Arena stadium in Coventry, England, home to Aviva Premiership rugby team Wasps and Wasps Netball.

Through four weeks of football mania in Brazil in 2014, the Nordic World Ski Championships in Sweden in 2015, the 2016 European football tournament in France, and the 2016 summer sports event in Rio, Ericsson ensured the networks kept pace with the fans. Click here to read how we connect the most popular venues around the world.

Source: Ericsson

The Installed base of Wireless IoT devices in Industrial Automation reached 14.3 Million in 2015



According to a new research report from the M2M/IoT analyst firm Berg Insight, the installed base of wireless IoT devices in industrial automation reached 14.3 million in 2015. The number of wireless IoT devices in automation networks will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27.7 percent to reach 62.0 million by 2021.

There is a wide range of wireless technologies used in industrial automation with different characteristics and use cases. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are the most widespread technologies in factory automation while cellular connectivity typically is used for remote monitoring and backhaul communication between plants.

The increasing popularity of Ethernet based networks in factory automation is one of the key drivers for the popularity of Wi-Fi in such applications. 802.15.4 based standards such as WirelessHART and ISA100.11a are major contenders at the field level in process automation networks. The emerging area of Low Power Wide Area Networking (LPWAN) is a promising alternative in remote monitoring applications.

The wireless IoT device market is served by a multitude of players from various backgrounds including global automation solution providers, automation equipment and solution vendors, industrial communication specialists and IoT communication specialists. Emerson, Honeywell, GE and Yokogawa are leading vendors of 802.15.4 devices in industrial automation. Siemens, Cisco, Belden, Moxa, Schneider Electric and Eaton are major vendors of Wi-Fi devices while Eaton, GE and Sierra Wireless are important vendors of cellular devices for industrial automation applications.

Higher levels of automation and IoT solutions enable shorter lead times, lower inventories, increased throughput as well as more flexibility and the ability to respond faster to changing customer needs. “Wireless communication and industrial IoT solutions can provide integration of different automation systems as well as enterprise systems which enables supply chains to be lean, even with a complex mix of products and output levels” said Johan Svanberg, Senior Analyst, Berg Insight. “Connected automation solutions also open up the possibility for entirely new business and service models which can give companies a much needed competitive edge in today’s manufacturing landscape”, concluded Mr. Svanberg.

Source: Berg Insight

Qualcomm Announces Connected Car Reference Platform to Simplify Integration of Advanced Connectivity Technologies Into New Vehicles

connected cars

Platform Integrates Wireless Technologies Including 3G/4G LTE, GNSS, Wi-Fi®, DSRC, and Bluetooth®; Extensible to Support Cellular V2X and 5G

The Connected Car Reference Platform is built upon Qualcomm Technologies’ broad automotive product and technology portfolio, including Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ X12 and X5 LTE modems, quad-constellation Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and 2D/3D Dead Reckoning (DR) location solutions, Qualcomm® VIVE™ Wi-Fi® technology, Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) for V2X, Bluetooth®, Bluetooth® Low Energy and broadcast capabilities such as analog and digital tuner support using software-defined radio via Qualcomm® tuneX™ chips. In addition, the platform features in-vehicle networking technologies such as Gigabit (OABR) Ethernet with Automotive Audio Bus (A2B) and Controller Area Network (CAN) interfaces.

Highlights of the Connected Car Reference Platform design include:

  • Scalability: Using a common framework that scales from a basic telematics control unit (TCU) up to a highly integrated wireless gateway connecting multiple electronic control units (ECUs) within the car supporting critical functions such as over-the-air software upgrades and data collection and analytics.
  • Future-proofing: Allowing the vehicle’s connectivity hardware and software to be upgraded through its life cycle, providing automakers with a migration path from DSRC to hybrid/cellular V2X and from 4G LTE to 5G.
  • Wireless coexistence: Managing concurrent operation of multiple wireless technologies using the same spectrum frequencies, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Bluetooth Low Energy.
  • OEM and third-party applications support: Providing a secure framework for the development and execution of custom applications.

The Connected Car Reference Platform allows automakers and their suppliers to explore, prototype and commercialize connectivity designs using modules and solutions offered based on Qualcomm Technologies’ roadmap.

“With the Connected Car Reference Platform, Qualcomm Technologies has developed a platform for automakers, module OEM customers, and developers that emphasizes scalability, modularity and security for integrating and managing multiple cutting-edge wireless technologies inside vehicles,” said Nakul Duggal, vice president, product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “We are pleased to introduce this platform to help enable best-in-class advanced connectivity solutions and services in upcoming vehicle designs.”

The Qualcomm Connected Car Reference Platform is expected to be available by the end of 2016. Qualcomm Technologies is showcasing the Connected Car Reference Platform, along with application demos from collaborating companies including OTA updates by Movimento, V2X communications by Savari, Inc., and vehicle data management and analytics by Hortonworks, at the TU-Automotive Detroit conference on June 8-9, booth #C69.

Source: Qualcomm

Climbers to get free Wi-Fi on Mount Fuji


Following a raft of requests, free Internet access will be available on Mount Fuji starting July 10 in a bid to bring more overseas tourists to Japan’s highest peak.

Working with telecommunications carrier NTT Docomo Inc., Yamanashi and Shizuoka prefectures will set up Wi-Fi hotspots at eight locations on the mountain, including three cottages around the summit and a general management center and a resort facility at the fifth station in Yamanashi Prefecture.

The free Internet access will be available at the fifth station from July 10 through Sept. 14 and around the summit between July 10 and Sept. 10, according to the Yamanashi prefectural government.

Climbers who are extremely slow could be out of luck, however. The free Wi-Fi will be available for 72 hours from the first login.

The service will be available to all hikers, but the two prefectures are more focused on attracting climbers from overseas through e-mail and social media.

“We hope people will use the service not only to tell about the attractions of Mount Fuji to people abroad but also to obtain weather and other information to ensure their safety,” said an official at the Yamanashi prefectural government’s tourism promotion division.

Yamanashi and Shizuoka prefectures plan to distribute 70,000 brochures and special cards in foreign languages at the mountain’s fifth and sixth stations to show tourists the predetermined passwords and steps to access the Wi-Fi service.

According to Yamanashi prefectural officials, the number of overseas visitors to the mountain has been increasing every year. An estimated 40,000 to 50,000 foreign tourists hiked along the Yoshidaguchi course last year.

However, many climbers from the United States and Europe have said they wanted to use the Internet to share their experiences while on the mountain, the officials said.

Source: Kohei Watanabe –ajw.asahi.com

Google unveils ‘Project Fi’

IOL pic apr23 google colour word

Los Angeles – Google said on Wednesday it was launching its own US mobile wireless service, with considerable potential savings for customers using their devices at home and for international travel.

The service called Project Fi is only available by invitation for now, and only for the Google Nexus 6 smartphone.

The service will use Wi-Fi hotspots along with the US mobile networks of Sprint and T-Mobile, and also may be used in 120 countries without roaming charges.

It will be offered at a monthly cost of $20 for basic service plus $10 per month for each gigabyte of data used. Customers will only pay for the data they use, unlike some carriers which offer packages.

“Project Fi enables us to work in close partnership with leading carriers, hardware makers, and all of you to push the boundaries of what’s possible,” a Google blog post said.

“By designing across hardware, software and connectivity, we can more fully explore new ways for people to connect and communicate.”

The service “automatically connects to more than a million free, open Wi-Fi hotspots we’ve verified as fast and reliable,” Google said.

“When you’re not on Wi-Fi, we move you between whichever of our partner networks is delivering the fastest speed, so you get 4G LTE in more places.”

Google said the connections will be encrypted and the phone number “lives in the cloud, so you can talk and text with your number on just about any phone, tablet or laptop”.

For global travel, Project Fi will enable low-cost calling in many countries, and data access at 3G speeds without additional charges.

The new service could give a boost to the Nexus handset line from Motorola, which was sold by Google last year to Lenovo, and eventually to other phones powered by Google’s Android operating system.

“This will be Google’s biggest effort to displace Apple,” said Rob Enderle, a consultant and analyst at Enderle Group.

“Apple’s vulnerability is on margins, they have to have big ones so they haven’t been able to do (a mobile service) that would be competitive with a carrier. Google therefore can provide a better and vastly more aggressively priced service than Apple can offer with a carrier.”

But analyst Jack Gold at J. Gold Associates said the project would be “very limited” and unlikely to create immediate problems for big carriers AT&T and Verizon.

“It’s just Google trying to stir everything and trying to say: maybe there’s a better way to do this whole wireless connectivity thing,” Gold said.

“It’s not going to cost them a lot of money to do this. Google isn’t investing anything in infrastructure.”

More Information >

Co-Star’s Latest RF Connectors for Wireless Applications

C23SRP_025SP-RPCo-Star has developed a new range of RF connectors and adapters  for connecting external antennas to Wireless Routers, Mobile Data Terminals (MDT’s) and other wireless devices.

FME Male to TS9 Male Right Angle Adaptor Cable

The TS9 connector is often used across a number of cellular, GSM, 3G and 4G dongles, data cards and modems. Very similar in appearance to the CRC9 connector, the TS9 plug has a  gold plated centre pin and circular barrel with slots at the end. The C74-FP-025TS9RA cable has been designed to quickly & easily  covert an antenna terminated with an FME female which is a common connector used for mobile applications to TS9 without having to re-crimp. Co-Star have used a right angle TS9 connector to ensure secure connection into the wireless device. The cable length is 250mm of RG174 coax.

SMA Male Reverse Polarity to SMA Female AdaptorCF_40

Widely used by Wi-Fi equipment manufacturers RP SMA connectors are designed to prevent consumers from accidently  connecting antennas with gain which would breach compliance. The female RP-SMA connector has the same external housing as a standard or conventional female SMA connector, which consists of an outer shell with the threads on the outside; however, the center receptacle is replaced by a male pin. Similarly, the RP-SMA male has threads on the inside like a conventional male, but has a center receptacle instead of the male pin in the middle.

The CF.40 adaptor has a Reverse Polarity male and standard SMA female to enable engineers to convert a standard SMA male which is a commonly used as standard by antenna manufacturers to SMA Male Reverse Polarity.

SMA Male Reverse Polarity to SMA Female Reverse Polarity

Manufactured using low loss RG58 coaxial cable (250mm) the C23SRP.025SP/RP SMA Male RP to SMA Female RP cable extension can be used to convert the genders of RP SMA connectors on antennas or as a cable extension.

Source: Co-Star


4G driving data usage but not all markets reaping the rewards

4G driving data usage but not all markets reaping the rewards

NEW ANALYSIS: ‘Digital pioneers’ are seeing a positive impact from 4G but Europe is still struggling, says a new report from GSMA Intelligence.

The rapid migration towards 4G-LTE in the world’s most advanced mobile markets is driving a surge in data usage, with 4G users typically consuming twice as much data per month as other users. However, while the introduction of 4G has led to an uplift in ARPU in some instances, the impact on revenue varies widely depending on the market.

As the only major market to have reached 100 per cent 4G population coverage, South Korea is the world’s most advanced 4G market, with penetration as a percentage of total connections passing the 50 per cent mark in Q4 2013. This compares to around a quarter 4G user penetration in Japan and the US.

Market-leader SK Telecom’s average monthly data consumption per user has risen significantly since the launch of its 4G network in H2 2011. The average monthly data consumption of its 4G users approximately doubled between Q4 2011 and Q1 2013, rising from 1.1 GB to 2.1 GB, while data usage via HSPA remained flat. This means that the operator’s total 3G/4G data traffic almost doubled in the space of 15 months, despite only a 2 per cent growth in total connections.

With such extensive 4G coverage available in the country, users in South Korea have also begun to eschew Wi-Fi networks – continuing to use 4G even when Wi-Fi is available – to maintain the consistency of their experience, especially when the 4G network provides a faster download/upload speed than a Wi-Fi service.

Although this trend is putting increasing strain on their networks, South Korean operators are generating significantly increased revenue from their 4G customers. At KRW46,000 ($43), SK Telecom’s 4G ARPU in Q3 2013 was around 32 per cent higher than its blended ARPU, with the operator noting that more than 70 per cent of new and upgrading 4G customers were opting for its higher-priced tariffs. Meanwhile, rival KT’s 4G ARPU of KRW44,000 ($42) was more than 40 per cent higher than blended ARPU.

Operators in the US are seeing similar trends. In October 2013, Verizon Wireless – the largest 4G operator globally with 36 million 4G connections in Q3 2013 – announced that those 38 per cent of its retail customers connected to its 4G network were responsible for 64 per cent of its total data traffic. The operator’s Q3 2013 ARPA (average revenue per account) was up 7.1 per cent on a year earlier, and has increased by 21 per cent since the launch of its 4G network in Q4 2010. Similarly, Cricket Communications CEO Jerry Elliot said in August 2013 that its “usage from a 4G customer is about twice that what it is for a 3G customer.” The operator’s ARPU was up 8.4 per cent year-on-year to reach $45.45 in Q3 2013.

In regions such as Europe the migration towards 4G is at a significantly earlier stage. This means that, while they have reported similar trends in terms of data consumption, operators in these regions are not yet seeing the same positive impact on revenue from 4G as witnessed in ‘digital pioneer’ markets such as South Korea, the US and Japan.

For example, in Q1 2013, Vodafone reported that average monthly data usage for its 4G smartphone users in Europe was 640 MB, approximately twice that for a 3G smartphone (350 MB) and roughly the same as a tablet operating on 3G. In Germany, Vodafone’s rival O2 said in Q3 that monthly average data consumption by smartphones using 4G services was three times that of non-4G smartphones.

In terms of revenue, the UK’s EE observed in its Q2 2013 report how an “increase of nearly 10 per cent was witnessed in the ARPU for existing customers migrating to 4G by June 2013”, and in its Q3 2013 report that “existing consumers migrating to 4G continue to show high single digit ARPU uplift.” This contributed to a slight annual rise in blended ARPU (+0.5 per cent), to £19.00 ($29.45) in Q3 2013.

This is a fairly modest increase compared to EE’s counterparts in South Korea and the US, but one which would surely be welcomed across the channel in France, where the expected ARPU uplift from 4G has evaporated for the three largest operators after low-cost rival Free Mobile introduced a 4G offering at no additional charge to its existing 3G service. This month, Orange France was forced to cut its lowest 4G tariff to €24.99 ($33.99) per month (via its SoSh low-cost unit), to ward off competition from Free, which offers 4G plans starting at just €19.99 ($27.19) per month. Similarly, second-placed French operator SFR has dropped its entry-level 4G tariff to €25.99 ($35.35) per month.

The average ARPU in France was down 13.2 per cent year-on-year in Q3 2013 to €22.82 ($30.23), and despite Bouygues Telecom, Orange and SFR all hitting 1 million 4G connections by the end of 2013, we expect to see the downward ARPU trend continue when those operators report their Q4 2013 financial results.

But France isn’t the only market where an operator has chosen to offer 4G services without charging a premium. For example, 3UK, which switched on 4G last month, is allowing customers to migrate without switching from their 3G contracts and will continue to offer unlimited data allowances. Telefonica Movistar – the market leader in Spain – is also offering 4G at the same price as 3G alongside a host of other incentives.

SK Telecom, average monthly data consumption per connection, Q2 2010 – Q1 2013
Source: SK Telecom

gsmai table

Wi-Fi offload powering a fifth of extra mobile data capacity



Tier one mobile operators believe Wi-Fi offload will provide 22 per cent of all additional data capacity during 2013 and 2014, according to a report published by the Wireless Broadband Alliance.

The research found that by 2018, Wi-Fi offload will continue to make a similar contribution (20 per cent of additional mobile data capacity), with another 21 per cent coming from small cells integrated with Wi-Fi.

Data offload currently accounts for an average of 20 per cent of a mobile operator’s data traffic but this rises to 80 per cent in densely populated areas such as transport hubs and cafes. Offload levels in homes and businesses are between 50 and 60 per cent.

Just over half of the 197 respondents — the majority of which were operators (either mobile or fixed operators, as well as wireless ISPs and pure-play Wi-Fi providers) — said they are more confident about investing in Wi-Fi to supplement cellular networks than they were a year ago.

This confidence is attributed to an increase in hotspot deployments and more ambitious business plans from some operators. Maravedis-Rethink, the research company that compiled the research, forecast that 10.8 million hotspots will be deployed in 2018, compared to 5.2 million in 2012.

Of the respondents planning to launch a next-generation hotspot network, data offload was cited as the most pressing driver for investment.

The European Commission recommended in August that more spectrum be set aside for Wi-Fi to ease pressure on 3G and 4G networks.

Ofcom, the UK telecoms regulator, has also warned there will be a growing demand for Wi-Fi capacity with it becoming “increasingly difficult” to find significant amounts of additional spectrum that can be fully cleared for Wi-Fi and mobile broadband.

In February, Cisco forecast a 13-fold growth in mobile data between 2012 and 2017, with 46 per cent of traffic offloaded to fixed or Wi-Fi networks by 2017 compared with 33 per cent in 2012.

 Source: Tim Ferguson/Mobile World Live

Intelligent efficiency: Turning data and energy efficiency into valuable assets

In the past, it has been all too easy to think of energy efficiency as a chore, a marginal ‘upgrade’ to existing infrastructure or processes that may save a bit on utility bills in the long run – and a few tons of CO2 or gallons of water for the environment too, says Craig Anderson


A recent paper by sustainability and energy efficiency research group GreenTech Media astutely noted that: “All around us, embedded in every commercial building, manufacturing facility and corporate campus, is a vast, untapped energy resource: efficiency.”

If we look at it this way, energy efficiency is a potential revenue stream of sorts – an underused asset that can be exploited to improve business performance and reduce unnecessary waste. You might put your coins in a pocket with a hole in it for a while, thinking it would be too expensive and time consuming to fix it, hoping not too much would fall out. But what if you were offered a repair that not only stopped the loss but actually added more coins to your pocket afterwards?

As long ago as 2012, the World Economic Forum came to the conclusion that data was a new class of economic asset, like currency or gold . For energy efficiency, data is the means to tap into the savings – it is the thread to sew up the hole through which waste is lost.

The internet age has brought data to everyone’s doorstep, desktop and – via smartphones – pocket too. With internet banking any account holder can get an instant breakdown of what they spend their wages on each month; comparison sites let us save ten pence a year on our phone lines with a few clicks; online shops let us spend hundreds even faster.

Despite its name and purpose, energy efficiency was not traditionally very efficient. Replacing all the light bulbs or toilet flushes was a blanket approach that was certain to achieve some savings, but did not target its efforts or costs compared against the benefits.

This is where data is the key, and where the idea of intelligent efficiency shines: with an accurate picture of where the greatest inefficiencies are, or where the easiest ‘wins’ can be found, efficiency-improving measures can be accurately focused to achieve the greatest returns on investment. With the technology now available to easily gather data on anything, anywhere, it is possible to see exactly how to most efficiently implement efficiency measures.

What is needed, then, is to find the easiest way of gathering the necessary data to make intelligent efficiency a practical, affordable reality. In the past, a similar ‘blanket’ approach was often used with data gathering technology – a large off-the-shelf or badly-tailored system would be offered or specified that would get the job done, but required a disproportionate investment of time, effort and often disruption to normal business operations.

A large up-front cost with obvious inefficiencies built in, and the common prospect of extra expenses for ‘customisation’ to come, has proven a quick way to have many an efficiency project die on the drawing board. When a substantial proportion of that cost is for ancillary aspects such as wiring and installation, it is often even harder to justify.

Modern technology and innovative thinking have, however, led to the development of far more flexible propositions. Advances in battery technology allow stand-alone devices to run for months or years without requiring any sort of ‘hard’ installation, and wireless technologies now allow stable, remote data transfer via several communication pathways.

Network solutions can be efficiently scaled almost infinitely, from a single data source to thousands of monitoring streams. With UHF/VHF radio, GSM/GPRS, SMS, Wi-Fi, Ethernet and PSTN working in conjunction, a modular system can be perfectly tailored to suit any installation environment for the most efficient combination of initial and ongoing cost.

To put these principles into context: using the right equipment, tiny, battery powered sensors can be easily installed to monitor everything from electricity, gas and water meters to heat, humidity and CO2 levels in a single room. Using the right choice of telecommunication format, this data can be gathered instantly, wirelessly, and seamlessly, then viewed and analysed on a computer or smartphone screen anywhere in the world.

For example, a common set up uses UHF/VHF transmitters on local sensors within a building , which transmit their data at no ongoing cost to an on-site, centrally-located ‘data concentrator’. This collects all the local information and sends it on as a condensed packet to a secure web server via landline for minimal data transfer costs. This not only saves on the ongoing expenditure, but also massively reduces the amount of wiring necessary to monitor potentially hundreds of points. Such a setup could also incorporate extra sensors using GPRS for outlying areas beyond the range of radio, seamlessly integrating their readings into the data stream.

Once safely on a secure web server, users and software packages can utilise historical data, calculated projections and correlated comparisons to see, immediately, where the biggest, fastest and most effective efficiency savings can be made. All this is possible without any great cost of setting up the data-gathering infrastructure, thanks to advanced wireless communications and modern battery technology.

This means that anyone, anywhere – from a single business premises to a national utility supplier – can gather and make use of the data they need, when, where and how it suits them. Flexibility, adaptability and modularity are the keys to the future of intelligent efficiency; they allow the principles to be put into practice in the most efficient way possible.

Source: Caroline Smith  HWM Water


Rural homes to get broadband internet access via 4G mobile network

4G can become an affordable alternative to fixed broadband for web access in countryside areas, claims EE telecoms company

  • Rural homes stranded without broadband will soon be able to plug into the web via the 4G mobile network – by planting an antenna on the roof or simply switching on a router in the living room.

EE, Britain’s largest mobile operator, is planning to throw down the gauntlet to BT on 11 November by launching what it says will be the UK’s first commercially available 4G home broadband service.

Initially available in Cumbria, the offer will roll out to other hard-to-reach areas over the coming months.

“We think 4G can become an affordable alternative to fixed broadband in rural areas,” said EE’s chief executive, Olaf Swantee. “The government is fixated on fixed, but mobile can provide a solution economically.”

As with Wi-Fi, several devices, including laptops, tablets and phones, will be able to connect to the internet wirelessly via a router placed in the home. The only difference is that the router will be connected to EE’s 4G mobile network, rather than a fixed broadband line.

EE has been trialling home broadband over the airwaves in a pilot project in the Northern Fells district of Cumbria since 2012. EE will announce prices next month, but those participating in the trial were charged from £15.99 a month for a connection of 8-12 megabits a second. The speed is equivalent to a typical copper wire broadband service.

With an area of over 100 square miles and a population of 2,600, the Northern Fells is one of the most poorly connected areas of the country. Local MP Rory Stewart has been at the forefront of the debate over rural broadband, and nearly 900 out of the 1,400 premises have signed up for the service when it launches.

The government has come under fire for its management of the publicly funded project to bring broadband to the countryside. Delays mean the deadline to reach 95% of UK premises has now been extended to 2017, with no target for 100% coverage beyond then.

Mobile firms are lobbying now for a share of the £250m in public funds set aside to reach the most remote 10% of homes, saying 4G may offer a cheaper solution than digging cables over long distances.

Source: Juliette Garside The Guardian