EE rolls out “micro network” to connect rural communities to the phone network
EE has announced plans to connect up 1500 rural communities which have previously been in mobile phone dead zones – by using new smaller “meshed” antennas.
The company has released a video showing the installation in the Cumbrian village of Sebergham – which should enable the town’s 129 households to connect.
The way it works is by using new “micro network” technology – which rather than having to have underground cables connected to the next transmitter along, or a broadband connection – it instead works wirelessly. Presumably the micro-transmitter essentially acts as a signal booster, using its position on the roof of a building with a high powered aerial to connect to transmitters that would be out of reach of normal mobile phones – and then repeating the signal so that phones in the village can connect.
Apparently the transmitters can connect around 100-150 homes over 0.5 square miles with “just three or four” small antennas – and luckily, planning permission isn’t required.
This isn’t just EE acting altruistically – as part of its 4G license, like all of the mobile companies it is obliged to increase coverage to 99% of the population – but in any case, this can only be good news for rural communities.