EE upgrades network to offer ‘world’s fastest 4G download speeds’

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New EE chief executive Marc Allera

The operator claims it will be the only network in the UK capable of achieving speeds of up to 450Mbps

EE has begun upgrading its 4G network, which it claims will allow UK subscribers to access mobile download speeds ‘equal to the fastest anywhere in the world.’

It means customers with ‘Cat 9’ smartphones will be able to achieve speeds of up to 450Mbps. This is only possible with ‘Cat 9’ handsets, which include the recent HTC M10, Samsung Galaxy S7 and Note7. No other UK operator is currently able to accomplish this, according to EE.

To enable the upgrade, EE is adding a third block of mobile spectrum to its current services. The initial rollout will cover 500 sites across the UK by 2017. It will be activated in London’s Tech City this year, with further sites such as Birmingham and Manchester being enabled throughout 2017.

The upgrade will provide noticeable jump from ‘Cat 6’ phones, which are only capable of 300Mbps downloads. Examples include the LG G4, Samsung Galaxy S6 and HTC One M9. The network had recently tested the HTC M10 at Wembley Stadium and achieved speeds of 360Mbps.

EE was the first operator to bring 4G to the UK four years ago in October 2012. Former CEO Olaf Swantee described the moment as a ‘significant milestone’ for businesses. O2, Vodafone and Three all launched their own 4G services within 15 months after EE. The company currently has 95 per cent 4G population coverage. It aims to achieve the same with geographic coverage by 2020.

CEO Marc Allera said: “There’s no point having the latest smartphones on a network that can’t support the top speeds the device is capable of. We’ve invested in our network to ensure that all of our customers get the most out of the amazing smartphones they have, and can keep up with the highest speeds that the latest devices offer.

“With 4G+ now supporting Cat 9 devices, plus Wi-Fi Calling and 4G Calling, customers on EE will continue to get more from their new smartphone than on any other network in the UK.”

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