New 4G legislation could speed up roll out

People might need to upgrade to 4G routers sooner than expected if new government proposals are passed into legislation.

A new consultation document, titled ‘Mobile Connectivity in England’, puts forward a series of suggestions that would accelerate the roll out of 4G. The proposal suggests, among other things, relaxing the rules and regulations surrounding the building of new 4G masts and antennae in public areas.

The technical consultation document, which was drawn up by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), includes suggestions such as allowing 4G equipment to be added to existing sites without prior approval and raising the height limit of both masts and antennae, thus allowing better coverage.

According to, the government is also keen for operators to share 4G masts and increase the use of microcells.

The consultation document on said: “There are over 82 million mobile subscriptions in the UK, and data traffic more than doubled in 2012. This is part of a wider transformation in the use of mobile and fixed broadband which is reinforcing the UK’s position as a leading digital economy.”

Speaking on the matter, Ed Vaizey, minister for culture, communications and creative industries, said: “Demand for mobile broadband in particular is increasing at a phenomenal rate.”

“We need to ensure that businesses and individuals can access this as soon as possible, if its full potential is to be realised,” he added.

The minister for planning at the Department for Communities,  Nick Boles, said that the proposed changes would ensure that operators could improve coverage and speeds, making the best use of current infrastructure.