EE added 5.7 million 4G customers in 2014 as traffic grows sixfold


4G customer numbers hit 7.7 million as UK operator added more 4G customers last year than any other European telco

EE added 5.7 million 4G customers last year as it recorded a 600 per cent increase in traffic being carried over its high-speed mobile data service.

Customer numbers on the service have now hit 7.7 million, comfortably surpassing the operator’s target of 6 million by the end of last year. It was already the biggest 4G operator Europe and has more people using the service than the other three UK operators combined.

Three, which automatically migrated its customer base to 4G at no cost, has 3.1 million people using the service. The last time O2 and Vodafone released their usage figures, they had three million and 1.4 million respectively.

The operator also announced that it upgraded more than 200 cities and towns in the final three months of last year bringing the total number of areas with populations of more than 10,000 people to 510.

Hastings, Worthing, Worcester, Scunthorpe, Crewe, Rugby, Bognor Regis, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Bangor and Llandudno, are among the areas recently switched on.

The numbers back up BT’s assertion that it was the quality of EE’s 4G network that was the reason behind it agreeing a possible £12.5 billion merger with the T-Mobile/Orange-owned mobile operator.

Following pressure by the government to cover so-called ‘not-spots’, where only one or two operators have coverage, EE says its 4G rollout now has an increasing focus on more rural areas.

It claims it turned on 1,000 villages in the last few months of 2014, with the village of Elvanfoot, South Lanarkshire being the smallest town to receive the connectivity. It has just 52 residents.

It now covers more than 80 per cent of the UK’s population and is on target to hit 98 per cent by the of 2015, a year ahead of the Ofcom-imposed deadline.

At their last count, Three covered 48 per cent, O2 45 per cent and Vodafone 48 per cent.