THE UK’s first fourth-generation mobile service – known as 4G – launched in Newcastle yesterday, following a multi-million-pound investment in the region.
Operator Everything Everywhere (EE) selected Newcastle as part of the second wave of cities to benefit from the new super-fast mobile technology since the launch of the service on October 30.
4G will offer the city’s businesses and residents mobile speeds typically five times faster than 3G, as well as new fibre broadband services.
EE recently carried out research which revealed Newcastle to be the city where the highest proportion of businesses indicated that they will introduce 4G when available (85%).
Almost 90% of local businesses also said the new technology would enable them to increase mobile working. Alan Foster runs Design 365, a web marketing company based in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.
Early next year he plans to open another office in Newcastle city centre thanks to his company’s growth and the launch of 4G in the city.
He said: “4G brings with it great options for businesses of all sizes and is a real boost for the region’s economy. Being able to work remotely and host video conferencing quickly and easily is a huge benefit and could save a lot of money in unnecessary travel costs.
“As a web marketing company, like many other businesses, we rely heavily on being able to provide super-fast results for our customers – often while on the move. 4G will allow us to enhance this when we launch in Newcastle, and played an important part in our decision to open an office here.”
Mark Stephenson, policy adviser for the North East Chamber of Commerce, added: “It is fantastic that Newcastle has been selected as one of the first cities to benefit from the 4G roll-out and I urge businesses to make full use of the super-fast mobile service.”