EE to double 4G speeds in UK to 80Mbps – targets 1m users by Christmas

9 Apr 2013

EE CEO Olaf Swantee

The UK’s only operational licensed 4G provider Everything Everywhere is planning to double the speed of its wireless services to 80Mbps per month. The company, a joint venture between Orange and T-Mobile – predicts it will have 1m LTE users by December.

Everything Everywhere (EE) said today it will also double current average speeds to 20Mbps for new and existing subscribers.

The double 4G speeds will be introduced in the 10 cities where EE is operational by the summer, including Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Sheffield.

The company says it is achieving lab-speeds in the range of 130Mbps.

EE is doubling the amount of 1,800MHz spectrum bandwidth dedicated to 4G from 10MHz to 20MHz.

EE CEO Olaf Swantee described the move as future-proofing its network for future capacity demand. He said EE is forecasting mobile data traffic to grow by as much as 750pc in the next three years alone.

“We are ensuring that the UK remains at the forefront of the digital revolution,” Swantee said. “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.”

Trials of the new technology in Cardiff are have already seen headline speeds reach more than 80Mbps. Once switched on, the improvements will be automatically available in those cities within existing plans for new and current 4GEE customers on all 4G smartphones, tablets and dongles.

Mark Newman, chief research officer at Informa Telecoms & Media, explained that EE is working to differentiate itself from other providers due to hit the market this summer.

“By rapidly expanding both the coverage and capacity of its network, EE has taken the necessary steps to maintain and extend its advantage in the UK 4G market and, importantly, to leapfrog itself into a leading position in the European LTE market.

“EE’s strategy to focus on network investment as a point of differentiation is helping to build a world-class, high-quality digital infrastructure that will prove as vital to future economic growth as investment in the roads and railways,” Newman said.

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