EE expands 4G broadband to nine more UK cities

31 Jan 2013

Everything Everywhere – a collaboration between Orange and T-Mobile – has expanded its fourth-generation LTE network to nine more cities in the UK.

4G is being switched on in Amersham, Bolton, Chelmsford, Hemel Hempstead, Southend-on-Sea, Stockport, Sunderland, Sutton Coldfield and Wolverhampton.

4G from EE now covers the homes and businesses of about 45pc of the UK population.

In October, Everything Everywhere (EE) became the first UK mobile operator to offer 4G services with services in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Cardiff and Bristol.

EE claims superfast 4G is about five times faster than 3G.

“As the first operator to bring 4G to the UK, it is important that we make it accessible to as much of the population as possible, as quickly as possible,” EE’s CEO Olaf Swantee said.

“To be ahead of schedule and covering approximately 45pc of the population within just 90 days of the launch is a great achievement for our network team.

“We continue to bring superfast mobile to more and more people, whether they’re using their devices outdoors or in their homes and offices, and to increase the speed and consistency of our 4G and 3G network across the UK,” Swantee said.

EE has gotten something of a headstart on the rest of the UK mobile market with operators, including Vodafone, O2 and Three, awaiting the outcome of Ofcom’s official 4G auctions.

In Ireland, a tidy €855m was raised for the country’s Exchequer when ComReg awarded licences to Vodafone, O2, Three and Eircom in November.

The first of those services are expected to start coming on stream in Ireland from March onwards.

The 4G licences awarded to the four operators in Ireland come with obligations to cover 70pc of the country’s population, so expect a pattern of town and city launches not too dissimilar to EE’s rollout in the UK.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years