4G technology is coming to Bury St Edmunds as many rural areas in Suffolk still struggle to even get a reliable mobile phone signal


- Credit: PA

Super fast mobile broadband, 4G, is coming to Bury St Edmunds with hopes it will bring a boost for businesses in the town.

However, while the news of 4G’s imminent arrival in Bury has been welcomed, many are concerned that rural areas of Suffolk still do not have reliable basic mobile phone coverage.

Mark Cordell, chief executive of Bury’s Business Improvement District (BID), OurBuryStEdmunds, said the arrival of 4G would be “yet another reason” why the town was a great place to do business.

“It is fabulous news and will make the town more connected. With the increase in shoppers using mobile internet, this presents a great opportunity for our members to take advantage of this new technology,” he said.

“The BID was hopeful that we would be getting 4G technology, to hear it is arriving soon is even better.”

The introduction of 4G stands in contrast to some of west Suffolk’s more rural areas, where being able to make a phone call is not always guaranteed.

Carl Birkley, director of Hewicks Haulage, in Cockfield, said rural Suffolk has long been overlooked, while the more urban areas got newer and newer technology.

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He said: “Using mobile phones is a very important part of modern life, never mind my business. We are always using mobiles to keep in touch with our drivers.”

He said he has long struggled with poor coverage, both for his business and personally at his home in Cockfield.

“You can have an okay signal in one spot and then 400 yards away you can’t even make a phone call,” said the Cockfield parish councillor.

“It is poor and it does not seem to be getting any better. As soon as any bad weather sets in you have no signal at all, and that is when you are most likely going to need it in an emergency.

“We are suffering in all walks of life in rural areas, getting more and more cut off. We don’t have good broadband in most places either.”

Mr Birkley said that with post offices and shops closing in a lot of places, mobile phones and broadband have become more important for business and for people living in the area.

He added: “We are getting left behind, but I guess I wouldn’t want to live in a town, maybe it is the price you pay.”

A spokeswoman for the Three Network confirmed it was bringing 4G to the area and many others across the region in the near future. The 4G masts are understood to be turning on within a month.