Manx Telecom customers will soon be getting superfast 4G mobile coverage but Sure customers are going to have to wait.
People with MT contracts will be getting the service in July. It will be November before Sure catches up.
Manx Telecom says it is on track to launch the Isle of Man’s first 4G mobile network this summer with a predicted 95 per cent population coverage. For MT customers already on pay monthly smartphone plans with a 4G ready handset, there will be no extra cost, as 4G access will automatically be included in these plans.
4G will deliver speeds up to seven times faster than those experienced with Manx Telecom’s 3G service. This makes it ideal for downloading the latest app to streaming live HD TV.
MT trials suggest its customers will be able to use the 4G service to download a song, game, or app in a few seconds compared to two or three minutes it might take on 3G.
David Smith, MT marketing director, said: ‘4G for all has always been our goal. We wanted to bring the fantastic benefits of a superfast mobile network to as many Isle of Man consumers and businesses as possible; as soon as possible, and in just a few weeks we’ll do exactly that. Achieving 95 per cent population coverage means that the Isle of Man will be way ahead of 4G availability in the UK. Our 4G licence commitment is to achieve a minimum of 33% coverage at launch and 95 per cent two years after launch – but we know how much our customers love new technology so we have been working hard to meet our two year target this summer. 4G will not be available to Pay As You Go customers initially, but all our customers will benefit from the improved 2G/3G network.
‘Customers will be amazed when they experience the incredible upload and download speeds. Many of our customers have already purchased a pay monthly smartphone plan with a 4G ready handset and will be among the first to use the island’s fastest mobile network.
‘It’s easy for anyone to check whether their current handset, tariff and SIM are 4G ready just by going to our website www.manxtelecom.com/4g. We also have a great trade-in scheme and a summer 4G smartphone sale for customers wanting to take advantage of the great deals on offer and upgrade to one of the many 4G ready devices in store.’
To see how 4G works, live demonstrations take place in MT’s Strand Street, Douglas, store which shows a real-time comparison with 3G.
Mike Philips, newly-appointed chief operating officer of Sure, said: ‘This decade will see a transition from traditional mobile voice, text and data to data only services and within three years we will be launching 5G, providing mobile data speeds around 100x faster than today’s 4G.
‘4G is primarily a data network and, rather than simply bolting the technology onto our existing network, Sure made the decision to replace the entire network allowing us to deliver the fastest data speeds possible on both 4G and 3G networks.
‘4G tips the balance in favour of wireless for data network performance and within 12 months Isle of Man consumers will be able to cut their phone lines and use a high speed, mobile data network rather than the traditional wired broadband.
‘Our network will deliver island-wide 4G by mid November 2014.’