How does 4G Broadband work?

4G isn't just about mobile phones these days

4G is the name given to signals transmitted by mobile phone networks over cell towers, which are connected to the wider internet. These are the signals used by today's smartphones to give you internet access on your mobile phone when you're out and about...

...but with the right equipment, 4G is quickly deployable to provide a fast and stable broadband connection for your home or business - just like you'd get with a more traditional terrestrial broadband service.

diagram showing how 4g internet works

4G broadband coverage is increasing ever more widely. It offers broadband speeds averaging 20 Mbps ** to homes and businesses across the country. Yes, that's "averaging" and not the "up to" or maximum possible speeds often quoted by other broadband technologies. And best of all, it's deployable almost immediately!

Here's how broadband delivered over 4G works, together with information on the equipment needed to receive the service.

Provided that your property is in an area with adequate 4G signal strength - and 4G coverage is being widened quite literally every week - with the right equipment, you can also use the 4G network to provide you with a fast and robust broadband service at your home or business for PCs, Macs, tablets, Smart TVs, Digital TV boxes or any other internet-enabled device. Here's how...

1. High gain directional external 4G antenna

In order for you to receive our 4G internet service at your property, we'll fit a small (25cm x 25cm x 8cm) external 4G antenna to a suitably facing outside wall.

The reason we fit an external antenna is to ensure that you'll get the strongest 4G reception and so the best possible performance. What our external antenna effectively does is to latch onto outdoor 4G signals, amplify them and then pipe them to the 4G modem/router we'd install inside your property.

This means that your 4G broadband service will benefit from a far stronger signal and you'll get the broadband performance you want inside your property - even if your own mobile phone only shows weak 4G reception or if the networks' coverage checkers report "outdoor coverage only" for 4G at your location.

2. 4G modem/wifi router

The external 4G antenna is cabled into a combined 4G modem/Wifi router inside your premises - please note that the maximum length of cable between the external antenna and internal modem/router must not exceed 5 metres.

Once this has been done, all that's then necessary is for the SIM card we will provide you with to be inserted into the rear of the 4G modem/router and within a few minutes you'll be online.

The 4G modem/router we supply offers 4 ethernet ports for cabled connections, plus it also broadcasts your internet connection wirelessly over WiFi within your property. And if you need to extend internet coverage within your premises, we have efficient and cost-effective solutions for this as well. Just click here to find out more or why not give us a call on 03333 447700... we'll be happy to talk things through with you.

What if I've only got poor mobile phone reception in my property?

Not a problem. Some people mistakenly think that, because they only get poor reception on their mobile phones when inside their property, we won't be able to provide them with a great 4G broadband service. Absolutely not true - our external 4G antenna makes all the difference and here's why.

Mobile phones are small - so their internal antennas have to be small and therefore relatively weak and low gain. And of course mobile phones are designed to be used on the move, so their internal antennas are omnidirectional - an omnidirectional antenna will never deliver the performance of a directional one. Plus when inside your property, there's going to be one or more walls getting in the way of the signal to your mobile phone. The high gain directional 4G antenna that we fit to the outside of your property resolves every single one of these issues.

If that's still not making sense to you, a very apt comparison would be with TVs. Have you ever tried tuning in a TV that's only got a small indoor antenna? We all know it's next to impossible to get good and stable reception - there's always interference, noise and poor sound and picture quality, because of the weak signal that TV is receiving. But what happens when you plug in a much larger and properly pointed antenna mounted outdoors into that TV? Problem solved... and that's exactly what happens with a 4G broadband service when using our own external 4G antenna.

Important to note - unlike other providers, we only deploy a triple strength high gain directional 4G antenna to ensure that you'll get the highest performance and most robust 4G broadband service provided at your property.

Is an external 4G antenna always necessary?

In certain locations where the 4G signal is very strong, it may be that the 4G modem/Wifi router is more than sufficient by itself to provide good reception. If so, this will dramatically reduce any start-up costs by more than half - from £380 inc VAT to only £150 inc VAT!

Please note that the installation of an external 4G antenna is mandatory if equipment is supplied under any Government subsidy scheme, but all equipment, installation and set up would be entirely free.

More detail on 4G broadband

Of course, 4G broadband is bound to be a little different from traditional terrestrial broadband services - please click here to find out more.

And if you'd like more detail on the equipment we provide and install at our customers' premises, or to see a full breakdown of the start-up costs involved in getting on our 4G broadband service, please click here.

** 20 Mbps is the independently audited average download speed delivered across the UK by the EE and Vodafone 4G broadband services we supply - as you can see by clicking here.
It's important to note that this is NOT the maximum possible - or "up to" - speed as quoted by many other broadband providers.
Indeed, many of the 4G broadband installations that we carry out do deliver considerably higher speeds to our more than happy customers, as these case studies and these customer comments show.
However, we believe that it's fairest to quote expected average speeds for the 4G broadband services that we supply.