EE pushes LTE speeds, bumps coverage, and hits out at competition

As other networks fight and collaborate to get their own LTE solutions into the wild, EE (Everything Everywhere) has announced it’s already saturated the market with 500,000 subscribers. Now they’re looking to secure that title position through improved infrastructure and coverage.

In a press release, EE has given consumers an insight into their forthcoming expansion plans.

The next phase of the LTE rollout will focus on major commuter routes, plus areas such as airports and shopping centres. This will reach 55% of the overall population.

Soon customers in; Aberdeen, Bath, Bournemouth, Brighton, Cambridge, Ipswich, Middlesbrough, Northampton, Norwich, Poole, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Swansea and York will have access to 4G.

As for many of the lucky existing cities, expect your speeds to soon be doubled up to a theoretical speed of 80Mbps, with the average being around 24 – 30Mbps.

These “double speed” cities include; Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Sheffield.

Average 4G download speeds in London are currently 19.4Mbps according to a testing report by RootMetrics stated in the press release. EE unfortunately places this statistic under “London’s fastest mobile network” which is true, but hardly a feat considering they have no 4G competition yet!

Also in the release, EE highlight a couple of new services to be provided to customers.

  • Shared 4GEE plans – Allows customers with multiple phones, tablets, or other devices to access their 4G coverage from one plan. Other people can also share your bundle, which may be particularly great for businesses.
  • Pay-As-You-Go Mobile Broadband – Already popular on 3G, many individuals in rural areas rely on mobile broadband to gain internet access where Fibre Optic is unreachable. Starting soon, customers will be able to gain the extra speed and reliability from 4G technology.

Finally, it would be less fun for us observers without a couple of cheeky jabs at the competition wouldn’t it? At the press briefing for the release, Mansoor Hanif, the operator’s director of RAN development, took a couple of subtle slights at rivals.

Particularly, he was quoted as saying [about O2 and Vodafone’s 4G network sharing]: “I’ve been reading from press reports and our suppliers that they are not seeing eye-to-eye.”

Adding further clarification: “They have split network responsibility in the UK, so O2 covers one half and Vodafone the other; that makes it very difficult for them to coordinate a nationwide service. We have not split up network responsibility on a geographical basis.”

A Vodafone spokesperson refuted these claims, saying the agreement with O2 is going “very well.”

Much like EE is the fruits of collaboration between Orange and T-Mobile; could we soon see a similar network between Vodafone and O2?

What do you think of EE’s handling of 4G and applicable services? Are they industry-leading or merely taking advantage of their exclusive position?

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