EE wants to extend 4G coverage with floating signal masts

There are a number of plans currently underway that aim to extend mobile coverage and end signal blackspots across the UK, and EE’s latest plan to boost 4G coverage is to use mobile masts that float.

The idea is similar to Google’s Project Loon, and will involve small floating mobile signal towers in the sky — kept airborne by balloons or drones. According to EE this will help fill coverage gaps in more remote areas of the UK.

The so-called ‘air masts’ are part of EE’s ‘Signalling the Future’ manifesto, which outlines EE’s pledge to spend £1.5 billion on expanding its 4G network over the next three years. It’s hoped that by the end of this year 98 per cent of the UK population will have access to EE’s 4G services, with a further 90 per cent able to take advantage of the network’s faster 4G+ service.

There’s no word from EE on when we’ll be seeing the air masts in action, but if EE really wants to achieve its 98 per cent goal by the end of this year then we’ll have to start seeing them relatively soon. It’s certainly going to be rather interesting to see how they look, and hopefully it will mean the end of finding yourself without signal at the most inopportune times.

Tom Pritchard