HISTORY has been made in Sheffield after it became one of the first UK cities to benefit from new superfast mobile broadband.
Digital communications firm EE has invested more than £11.8 million in upgrading the city’s telecoms infrastructure as it launched its range of 4G products and services.
People, particularly those in the creative and digital sectors, will be able to use mobile devices such as smartphones to access information quicker while on the move.
Civil servant Craig Calvert became the first customer to sign up for 4G in the city.
Mr Calvert, who commutes from Swinton to the city centre daily, said: “When I looked at the coverage map, most of the railway line was covered by 4G so I thought it would help to reduce the time I was waiting to load pages and was impressed by the difference in connection speeds.”
The new technology is also boosting Sheffield IT companies which can enable other firms to access the technology.
Businessman Neill Birchenall demonstrated the benefits of 4G in the Winter Garden, in a video conference with Sheffield technology entrepreneur David Richards, who now lives in the US.
Neill, managing director of Shoreham Street IT firm BirchenallHowden, said: “The launch of 4G will boost Sheffield’s economy, giving businesses better mobile connectivity and allowing many rural areas to access the internet at broadband speeds.
“At BirchenallHowden we have invested more than £5,000 into new equipment to enable our technicians to work better in the field, servicing the needs of our customers.”
Bobby Greasley, EE regional manager, said: “Sheffield is a city that has always been quick to embrace change and the introduction of 4G is an important milestone.
“Being chosen as one of the first areas in the UK to embrace 4G reflects the importance of the city as a digital hub and, as well as bringing many benefits to businesses, there’s no doubt it’s going to help people get the most out of their mobile.”