When it comes to your home broadband, there’s no shortage of ways you can get yourself hooked up. From major broadband suppliers like BT, Virgin and Sky to smaller players like TalkTalk, Plusnet and others, there are literally dozens of options available.
However, when it comes to home broadband, the UK’s major mobile networks haven’t been as active as they might have been.
Typically, the likes of Three, EE, Vodafone and EE have focussed on mobile broadband solutions for travelling, rather than the home market. It hasn’t always been that way though. BT were one of the pioneers in mobile broadband and even made waves in the home broadband market, offering a range of packages through the Orange contact details.
Now, the company Orange became (EE) have launched a new home broadband solution to the market, but it comes with a twist.
Rather than using fibre or copper connections under the ground like you might get with a typical home broadband package, EE’s new 4GEE router utilises the same SIM technology as your smartphone or tablet, broadcasting that signal out to your entire home.
The company claim that the router is capable of hitting download speeds of 90Mb/s – a number that’s higher than most company’s broadband offerings – with local connectivity provided by a built-in 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi radio. Whilst that means you’ll be able to connect any WiFi device to the router, the system does have its downsides.
Much like a smartphone, the connection your router receives will be heavily affected by its location in your home and nearby radiofrequency interference, which could mean your speeds take a tumble. The system, therefore, won’t be suitable for people who suffer from poor 4G signal whilst within their home, but it may well be ideal for those who can’t get a regular broadband hook up.
One major flaw with EE’s new broadband offering though is just how expensive it is. Rather than pricing the service like a typical broadband offering, they’re pricing it based on how much data a customer will use.
Accordingly, EE have confirmed that the base-level subscription starts at a minimum of £25 a month for 10GB, rising to £50 for 50GB, £75 for 100GB, and maxing out at £100 for 200GB. Mercifully though, the 4GEE Router is provided free of charge at all subscription levels.
The router is also available to purchase outright for £129.99 and can be used by buying blocks of data transfer allowance starting with a bundled 10GB.
Those prices make 4GEE broadband a much more expensive option than competing home broadband solutions and a less than ideal everyday solution for most. It is, however, a fine option for those temporarily without internet access or those with very poor traditional broadband access. To that end, EE are promising that their coverage of the UK will extend to 95% by 2020 for 4G+ coverage, though it currently sits at around 80%.