EE, the UK’s largest mobile network operator in terms of subscribers, has launched its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) service in eleven cities across the country, in line with previously announced plans. Initially the new network will cover the following locations: Bristol, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Sheffield and Southampton. Looking ahead though EE has said that it expects to expand coverage by 2,000 square miles each month, taking the new superfast mobile broadband service to new cities, while also providing denser coverage in those locations where it has already launched. As such, the cellco expects to have LTE available in five further cities by the end of the year, prior to expansion into other unnamed cities and rural locations in 2013. Further, having said that it will make 4G mobile coverage available to around two million people in Britain every single month between now and the end of 2014 – a deployment plan which it claims would make it the fastest rollout of any UK network in history – EE aims to have 98% of the UK’s population within its 4G network footprint by the latter date.
Alongside the LTE launch, EE has also confirmed that its ‘Fibre Broadband’ service, which will offer downlink speeds of up to 76Mbps, is available from today to around eleven million premises. In addition, the operator has also noted that today marks the arrival of over 700 rebranded retail stores following what it claims is one of the ‘biggest and fastest transformations in UK retail history.’
Commenting on the development, EE CEO Olaf Swantee noted: ‘We’re investing GBP1.5 billion (USD2.4 billion) in our network to be the first company to offer mobile 4G in the UK, alongside the biggest 3G network. Combined with our Fibre Broadband and revolutionary service model we have a pioneering and unique offer to customers across the UK – superfast speeds in the home, superfast speeds on the move and expert service on nearly every high street in Britain.’