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Could 4G help rural areas get online?

While the government likes to talk about broadband as a commodity, alongside water or electricity, the sad truth is that many rural areas can get little to no service. There have been many false dawns in rural broadband; so is 4G set to be the next one, or is it the real deal?

In simple terms, 4G mobile broadband is set to slowly replace the current 3G networks we have cross the UK. You’ll need a new smartphone or dongle to access it, but otherwise it should smoothly replace 3G while offering the promise of faster, more reliable mobile data transfer.

The case for 4G mobile broadband

The 4G revolution certainly has the potential to meet rural needs. Rollout should be relatively straightforward, with first-to-market EE (Orange and T-Mobile) having already brought 4G to 27 UK towns and cities since launching late in 2012.

Price shouldn’t be an issue either. Mobile network Three has announced it will not charge a premium (above its 3G charges) for 4G mobile broadband, so it will be tough for the other networks to do so once competition for customers hots up.

Then there are the speeds. EE has been quoting averages from 8-12Mb since launch, with the current potential for 40Mb max speeds. While this is a long way behind current UK fixed-line speeds over fibre (which are already 100Mb and rising), 40Mb would be more than fast enough for the majority of rural customers’ needs.

And better still, this is potentially the tip of the iceberg in terms of speed. Etislat tests last year clocked a new 4G record at more than 300Mb and while you’re not likely to get that in a windy field near you anytime soon, it shows what this fledgling technology still in the locker.

The case against

As always tends to be the case when it comes to broadband, the biggest barrier to rural 4G is money. While the mobile internet providers are always quick to get their shiny new networks up and running in London, Birmingham and Manchester, those of us living in less population dense areas know the postcode lottery all too well. The talk is always of ‘population’ coverage, not geographical, and you can be sure the 4G rollout will be no different.

Then there’s reliability. We’ve had 3G for a long time now and enjoy very high UK coverage in terms of population, but standing stock still isn’t often enough to hold a reliable signal – let alone moving around. This can make data downloads a tedious task, while streaming can be next to useless. When 3G arrived there was much talk of being able to scrap your fixed line connection – something few have gone on to risk.

This leads us nicely onto speeds. Again, while first 7Mb and then 14Mb were promised the UK average 3G mobile broadband speed has never really got higher than 1-2Mb. Independent 4G field testing isn’t averaging out at 10Mb yet, so for now the jury is very much out. However, many a rural broadband customer would happily accept a reliable 10Mb broadband package.

So yes, 4G mobile broadband has the potential to get rural areas online. But unless you have a very active council or business community getting behind your push for base stations, I wouldn’t start holding your breath just yet.

Author Bio: Matt Powell is the editor for the broadband provider comparison site Broadband Genie.

UK Satellite Broadband and Television on the same dish.

It is now possible to have one dish, or antenna as we prefer to call them, that provides satellite television as well as satellite broadband in the UK. We are the only satellite broadband service provider in the UK that is able to provide this service for our customers who can enjoy their Sky or Freesat television through the same dish as their satellite broadband service. Having entered into our partnership with SES last year, we have now began providing our customers with this uniquely packaged service enabling our satellite broadband customers to avoid the clutter of multiple dishes.

Customers who have an existing TVRO dish, can make use of these services by means of a simple upgrade. It is necessary to replace the dish with one of our solid construction dishes as shown on the left. Once the dish is replaced, we will also need to replace your TV LNB with a specialised LNB which is designed to prevent the received satellite television signals from being swamped by the transmissions from your Internet access iLNB. The image below shows the two different LNB’s positioned side by side in their multifeed clamp.

In the picture below right we can see the two different LNB’s positioned side by side in their multifeed clamp. The two LNB’s sit side by side with the larger iLNB for Internet transmission and reception secured at the focal point of reception from the Astra 23.5East orbit and the smaller quad feed filtered television LNB secured at the focal point of reception from the Astra 28.2 East orbit from which all Sky Digital and Freesat services are broadcast. This unique configuration enables our customers to enjoy both services at the same time without either service impacting the usability of the other.
Once this has been completed and the dish has been aligned using our simple to use point and play tool, the cable to the location where the satellite internet access modem will be located has been secured and the award winning Newtec Sat3Play equipment connected to the end of it has been positioned, its time to get connected.

Armed with the account credentials provided by us and allocated in accordance with your chosen subscription package, you need only use an internet browser on your PC or laptop to connect to the equipment and you’re up and running. The video belows shows the whole process in some detail and will, we hope, show you just how easily you can be connected to the net wherever you are in Western Europe.

We hope you’ll agree that our solution represents the best satellite broadband in the UK today. For customers who wish to use one dish to receive satellite TV as well as satellite broadband our Single Dish packages represent the cheapest satellite broadband in the UK.

If you’d like to find out more why not visit our website at www.apogeeinternet.co.uk or if you prefer you can give us a call free on 0800 012 1090. One of our customer service agents will be waiting to take your call and welcome you to our growing family of customers.

Inmarsat Fleet Global – The Maritime Communications Solution

Fleet Broadband is the smallest, most simple high speed Internet & telephone receiver for maritime communication. It can be set up by an individual with little or no training and operates globally, also requiring no particular training to keep it functioning. A fleet broadband antenna and controller are self contained, requiring only power. Switch it on, and your entire fleet is linked at broadband speed. This appliance can be rapidly implemented across your fleet and as a standard IP service, seamlessly integrated with corporate and headquarter networks. The service is such that anybody who operates a vessel of almost any size can easily see the benefit of the technology which reaches far beyond its cost. Contact us today to discuss the benefits Fleet Broadband can bring to your company. Read on for a flavour of these benefits:

 

Flexibility and control: Fleet Broadband supports the newest IP services, as well as traditional circuit-switched voice and data for your Current applications. You can choose between a standard, contended IP service and guaranteed data rates on demand – with the ability to choose the rate according to your application. 3 varieties of terminals are available, each present distinct performance capabilities.

Cost effective: With Fleet Broadband, performance and flexibility is not too pricey. Terminal costs are fairly low, with a selection of airtime pricing packages to best suit your needs. There is also no obligation to commit to a lengthy contract. Global voice and broadband data services are more accessible than ever before, enabling you to achieve better operational efficiencies and reduce the expenses of crew communications.

Worldwide coverage: Fleet Broadband ensures you’re never out of touch, wherever you sail. Voice, fax, and data connectivity in the Indian and Atlantic Ocean Regions is available immediately. Inmarsat delivers global coverage – excluding the extreme polar regions.

Easy to install and integrate: Finding a space on your vessel for your new FleetBroadband terminal shouldn’t be a problem. With the antenna set inside a neat radome cover, which ranges in diameter from 25 to 60cm, and a discrete below-decks terminal, Fleet Broadband is compact without compromising performance. As a standard IP service it can be seamlessly integrated with your shorebased systems, making your vessel a transparent link within your company network.

Inmarsat is one of the best providers of global satellite solutions in the world and Fleet Broadband is just one of those solutions. The Inmarsat solution provides global satellite communication, with multiple satellites covering the whole planet. Contact us today to discuss this or indeed any of the Inmarsat solutions which we will be blogging about in the coming weeks.

Scottish Satellite Broadband Internet makes sense

If you currently live in a rural area, you are probably looking to replace your slow dial up internet (or if youre really lucky, your trickle slow ADSL line) with a fast satellite internet connection. The world of satellite internet can seem like a black art sometimes as few people know of their choices simply because they have been stuck with the slow dial up they currently have for so long. Many people would love to change but feel like making the switch is more trouble than it’s worth. Using a piece of equipment in space to order your weekly shop could seem a little much. The problem with that theory is that you are wasting time. Your best chances at making a change into the modern world is by researching and figuring out how you’d benefit in the long run.

At Rustyice Solutions, we have already done all that figuring out for you ahead of time. Given the fact that a network connection is becoming a necessity in todays world, satellite broadband internet could be the next big thing in your life, especially living in the rural areas where services have always been limited. Fast rural internet connections could afford you the opportunity to connect to the rest of the world in a way like never before. Imagine being able to enjoy the benefits of iPlayer or other on-demand catch up TV services that have hitherto been way too much to hope for. Imagine being able to tell your kids they can now connect their games consoles to the network and connect with their friends. If you are reading this post then you probably already have your own list of reasons that youd love to be able to connect to the network faster than you currently do. A fast satellite internet connection could provide you a solution for those in rural areas a quality internet service at affordable prices that you possibly never knew existed.

The people who can benefit most from satellite internet broadband are those that can’t receive regular broadband, DSL, and cable internet. Although these are great services and provide amazing technology, often those in rural areas are unable to access these services. These types of services rely on physical infrastructures that carry the signals such as phone lines and cables which are often missing in the rural areas. But, the satellite broadband fast internet service signal is available all over the nation for the most part.

Another group that might benefit from having the faster satellite broadband connection is those that use their computer to chat, stream movies, and videos, and those that download a lot. Having to depend on dial up connections or a traditional modem would make this impossible. You would therefore, be limited in what you could do. A fast satellite internet connection would solve all these problems. With satellite internet, you can expect to see improvement in the speed and quality of your internet connection. For example, a data file of 1mb that would take 3 minutes with a dial up modem now, but using a fast satellite internet connection would take just seconds to upload the same size of data.

So, as you have just read, living in a rural area does not have to limit you from the modern conveniences and opportunities that todays networks provide. There are options available to you. Switching your service from your dial up modem or slow DSL to a fast rural satellite internet connection neither has to be painful nor a costly endeavour.

At Rustyice Solutions, we are the only Scotland based satellite internet service provider in the marketplace today. We have the backing of SES Astra which is the organisation which provides Sky TV with their satellite broadcast capability. Because of this, the likelihood is that if you already have a dish receiving satellite TV you will not require the expense of an additional dish. This is a new service which we will be rolling out over the coming days so check back soon for more details.