4G or satellite broadband for your home or business?
First and foremost, don't make the mistake of thinking that 4G is something that can only be used on smartphones. That's no more true than electricity being something that can only be used for lighting.
4G is already being used to provide a fast, stable and cost-effective broadband connection to tens of thousands of homes and businesses across the entire UK - and especially those that cannot get good broadband speeds over their landlines.
Click on any of the four topics below for more detail on how the two technologies compare. It may also be useful to get a basic understanding of how both technologies work.
4G is a set of frequencies used by mobile network operators - such as EE and Vodafone - to transmit fast broadband from masts. It's completely separate from the frequencies used to make and receive voice calls on mobile phones and it's easiest to think of it as being very similar to wifi - just much more far-reaching.
The equipment needed to use 4G to provide a fast and stable broadband service for your home or business consists of a combined 4G modem/wifi router inside the premises that is connected to a small (9 x 7 inch) external 4G antenna mounted at a suitable point outside the property. This then provides you with a connection to the nearest 4G mast - which will typically be within 8km.
So, it's largely irrelevant if you can't get a strong 4G signal on your smartphone inside your property - because your phone's only got a very small, low-power and omnidirectional antenna built into it. Remember, we fit a relatively much larger external, high-gain and directional fixed 4G antenna that, once installed to point at the strongest available 4G signal, latches on to it, amplifies it and brings it inside to your 4G modem/router for you to then take advantage of.
The costs of getting set up and running on our 4G broadband services are £380 inc VAT, including all equipment, account set-up and professional installation. However, you may well qualify for a government subsidy - and if so, your entire 4G broadband set-up will then be absolutely free.
Click here to find out more about government subsidy schemes and 4G - and see if you could get set up with fast 4G broadband at no cost whatsoever.
Satellite broadband is transmitted by specialist operators - such as Avanti, Tooway or SES - from satellites in geostationary orbit high above the equator.
The equipment needed to receive satellite broadband comprises a satmodem inside the premises that is connected to a 75cm solid dish mounted at a suitable point outside the property property with clear line of sight. This then provides you with a connection to the relevant satellite - around 36,000km away.
The costs of getting set up with satellite broadband are typically higher, so roughly £470 inc VAT, again including all equipment, account set-up and professional installation, but you'll almost certainly also need a separate wifi router, which will cost around an extra £50 to £100 inc VAT, depending on model chosen.
4G broadband is almost invariably faster than satellite broadband. Whereas no broadband provider can guarantee the broadband speeds you'll receive, it's very important to note that with 4G, we always quote the average speeds that you can expect. These have been independently audited as averaging 20+ Mbps download and 10+ Mbps upload - as you can see by clicking here.
The theoretical maximum speed of a 4G broadband connection is actually well in excess of 90 Mbps - and we've got hundreds of customers whose speeds are considerably above the averages we quote - but we think it's fairest only to highlight the average performance that can be expected over 4G broadband.
With satellite broadband, operators only tend to quote the "up to" or maximum possible speeds deliverable. With current satellite broadband technology, the theroretical maximum speeds available are 30 Mbps download and 6 Mbps upload - and that's only with more costly monthly satellite broadband packages as well.
However and far more importantly, with satellite broadband, real world performance is typically a mere fraction of those "maximum possible" speeds.
Both 4G and satellite broadband only offer data limited monthly packages - much like pay as you go phones, you choose the amount of data you want each month and once that's been used, your connection is blocked until the new month or until you buy a top-up. However the cost of data on 4G broadband is far lower than satellite broadband.
At today's monthly broadband package pricing, one GB of data delivered over 4G broadband can cost you as little as 30p.
Click here to see just how cost-effective our range of monthly 4G broadband packages are.
Again at today's pricing, the same GB of data delivered over satellite broadband will cost you over three times as much, so at least £1.00 - and often considerably more.
Latency is the delay in communication between the equipment in your house and the internet. It's measured by a ping test in milliseconds. Latency with traditional landline broadband (like ADSL or fibre) is typically around 20ms.
With 4G broadband, latency is a little higher - usually around 40ms - because you're communicating wirelessly via a mast that may be up to 8km away - but that small extra delay is not going to affect anything you want to do online.
However with satellite broadband, latency is much higher - running at around 500ms. This is perhaps unsurprising, given that you're connected to the internet via a satellite that's 36,000km away, so the round trip for communication is going to cause noticeable delays within any internet-based activity.
4G coverage is being extended literally every single week - and currently approximately 95% of the UK's population are within its coverage. Click here to see if your home or business is covered by our 4G broadband services.
However, there will be certain locations where a strong enough 4G signal simply isn't yet available.
In those circumstances, the best option is indeed satellite delivered broadband, because the entire UK already falls under satellite broadband coverage. So, provided that a clear line of sight to the relevant satellite is available from a suitable dish mounting point at your property, we will be able to get you connected.