EE "Air Masts" to Expand Rural 4G Coverage, Terrify Migratory Birds

By Gerald Lynch on at

Want decent 4G coverage at your rural retreat, but don't want it to come at the expense of blighting the countryside with unsightly phone masts? EE has the answer -- so long as you don't look up. It's announced that it's looking into the viability of so-called "Air Masts" to improve its 4G reception in the more remote corners of the UK.

Sounding like a very similar system to that explored in Google's Project Loon, the air masts would essentially be small, mobile, floating cell networks, made airborne via either unmanned drone craft or balloons.

The Air Masts come under the "Blue Sky Thinking" section of EE's "Signalling the Future" network manifesto, in which EE has also pledged £1.5 billion to expanding its 4G network over the next three years. It hopes to have 4G covering 98 per cent of the population by 2017, with 90 per cent of those covered receiving EE's double-speed 4G+ service. Seems like all that BT money is already being spent.

Image Credit: Hokulea