EE will reach 10m 4G customers by May 5

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CCS Insight predicts operator will reach milestone soon and praises EE for spurring on 4G growth

EE will reach 10 million 4G subscribers by the end of next week, according to a prediction from analysts CCS Insight.

The UK’s biggest operator will surpass the 10 million milestone on May 5, according ot the analysts, after adding on average 10,000 4G customers every day since launching the service almost two and a half years ago.

In its latest financial results, EE announced it has 9.4 million customers using 4G as of March 31, but according to CCS principal analyst (networks) Kester Mann, this will hit 10 million by next week.

“Following further strong growth in the first quarter of 2015, EE is on the verge of passing 10 million 4G customers,” Mann said.

“EE is the largest 4G operator in Europe based on subscribers and the largest globally outside the leading markets of USA, China, Japan and South Korea. By contrast, the leading operators in France and Germany have only around half the number of 4G customers as EE. Operators in Italy and Spain are further behind still.”

In September 2012, EE became the first UK operator to launch 4G, with O2 and Vodafone following in August 2013, and Three launching its 4G services in December that year.

Mann praised EE for driving the growth of 4G services in the UK by pushing the availability of low cost 4G smartphones, such as its own Kestrel device.

“To put it simply, the turnaround in 4G uptake in the UK has been phenomenal,” he added. “The country was only the 53rd to see commercial services introduced, with the likes of Mauritius, Angola and Kyrgyzstan all enjoying deployment sooner.

“A large amount of credit for this impressive turnaround should be given to EE and the visionary leadership of CEO Olaf Swantee. EE’s strong growth reflects a sharp fall in tariffs since launch in October 2012, the availability of low-cost 4G-enabled smartphones, reasonably fast network deployment that currently reaches 88 per cent of the UK’s population and a strong marketing push.”

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