EE doubling 4G speeds to 80Mbps as it targets 1m LTE users by 2014


Technology to be rolled out to 10 existing 4G cities by the summer as operator doubles the amount of 1800MHz bandwidth dedicated to the faster speeds

EE is doubling the speed and capacity of its 4G network in a move that will boost headline speeds to 80Mbps and see average speeds for 4GEE customers exceed 20Mbps.

The operator is doubling the amount of 1800MHz spectrum bandwidth dedicated to 4G, from 10MHz to 20MHz. EE said trials of the new technology in Cardiff have seen headline speeds reach 80Mbps plus.

The faster speeds will roll out in 10 existing 4G cities by summer – Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Sheffield. This will be automatically available within existing plans to new and current customers.

EE has set itself a target of reaching one million 4G customers by the end of this year. It said among 4G network rollouts globally, converting 10 per cent of a contract base after 24 months is considered a successful deployment. More than one million 4GEE customers would represent around eight per cent of EE’s contract base, upgraded or acquired from rival networks within 14 months.

The operator added that it is aiming to trial carrier aggregation before the start of 2014, which would combine spectrum from different bands to further boost performance, speed and capacity. It claimed that through this, it will be able to deliver more 4G bandwidth than any other UK operator is able to, now and in the future.

It is also making further investments and improvements to its core network to enable a range of new services for its customers, including voice over Wi-Fi (VoWi-Fi), as well as enabling the delivery of both video and voice calls over 4G/LTE (VoLTE).

EE CEO Olaf Swantee said: “We are ensuring that the UK remains at the forefront of the digital revolution. Having already pioneered 4G here, we’re now advancing the country’s infrastructure again with an even faster, even higher-capacity network, and at no extra cost to our customers.

“Since we launched 4G, we’ve seen a huge shift in the way people are using mobile. Video already accounts for 24 per cent of all traffic on our 4G network – that’s significantly more than on 3G. Maps, mobile commerce, sat-nav tools and cloud services are all seeing a similar rise. Mobile users in the UK have a huge appetite for data-rich applications, and this will only grow as people become more familiar with and reliant upon next generation technologies and services.

“Our double speed 4G network will provide developers with the quality and speeds needed to develop the next wave of killer 4G apps. Whatever innovations they come up with, we’re ready.”