FASTER mobile broadband is available in Basingstoke from today for one network’s customers.

Mobile phone and computer network EE has switched on 4G services in the town – a move welcomed by borough council chiefs who think it will give a boost to local businesses.

Superfast 4G mobile services – also known as LTE - are on average five times faster than 3G services, enabling customers to do more on their smartphones and tablets while on the move.

A 4G service allows residents to stream TV and music, and more easily access social media, government, banking, shopping and other online services on the go.

EE, which also runs the Orange and T-Mobile brands in the UK, is currently the only mobile operator in the UK offering superfast 4G mobile.

A statement released by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council says independent research has found that 4G is likely to drive economic growth locally by improving business productivity and helping businesses increase mobile commerce.

The council’s Cabinet member for strategy, Councillor Ranil Jayawardena, said: “The arrival of 4G mobile services in Basingstoke will be of great benefit to our local residents and businesses.”

But he added: "While this is a great improvement for our town, making it one of the best connected towns in Britain, it is important that mobile operators don't forget rural communities, where many of our residents live and work too. “

Olaf Swantee, EE chief executive, said: “I’m delighted that 4G is arriving in Basingstoke, and am looking forward to seeing it make a big difference for residents and businesses in the area. 4G will change the way that people use their smartphones, tablets and mobile Wi-Fi, both for work and for pleasure.”

Today’s switch on also included Aldershot and Bracknell.