4G mobile is nearly here – and the final phase of work on the Island’s first superfast mobile network begins this week. Manx Telecom is aiming to launch the Island’s first 4G network later this summer which will deliver speeds up to seven times faster than those currently experienced with the company’s 3G service. Trials suggest its customers will be able to use the new service to download a song, game, or app in a few seconds compared to two or three minutes it might take at present. Work on the 4G network will also bring improved 2G and 3G mobile coverage.
Manx Telecom say that creating a 4G network is a major undertaking both in terms of investment and engineering infrastructure, and has involved the installation of new equipment in every mobile base station across the Island. Now this work has been completed each base station has to be ‘migrated’ to the new network to make it ready for when 4G goes live later this summer. This migration phase starts this week in the north of the Island and will then continue in the following areas:
- North Douglas – early to mid July
- South Douglas – mid to late July
- South and west of the Island – late July
This work is essential and does mean that there may be some disruption to existing 2G and 3G mobile services during this time. David Smith, Manx Telecom Marketing Director, said:
“Customers will be amazed when they experience the incredible upload and download speeds of 4G, but to bring this service to the Isle of Man for the first time we have had to build an entirely new mobile network. Before improvements can be made to 2G and 3G services, and the physical 4G switch over when the network goes live, we have the huge task of moving all of our mobile customers over to the new network. While our technical teams carry out this task over the next few weeks we do expect some disruption to service, so we ask all of our customers to please bear with us during this time. For the latest information on what’s happening, where and when, our customers can refer to the mobile network maintenance link on our website www.manxtelecom.com/4g – this page also enables customers to check whether their mobile handset and SIM are 4G ready, and what they need to do to be among the first to use this amazing new service.”
For Manx Telecom customers already on pay monthly smartphone plans with a 4G ready handset, there will be no extra cost to use the new network as access will automatically be included in these plans. There’s also a trade-in scheme and a summer smartphone sale for customers wanting to take advantage of great deals on offer to upgrade their handset to one of more than 25 4G ready devices Manx Telecom has in store.