British mobile network operator EE has announced plans to expand its LTE network footprint from what it claims is the current UK-leading position of 60% landmass to an objective of 95% by 2020. In a press release the operator revealed that its investment will focus on filling in outdoor ‘not-spots’ within existing 4G areas.
In a move to increase the availability of its services in the more remote parts of the UK, EE has also confirmed its LTE network has been switched on in both Shetland and the Isles of Scilly, enabled by the fibre broadband links that new owner BT has deployed. To achieve its target for enhanced geographic coverage, EE has said that more than 750 new cell sites will be constructed with a view to ensuring ‘near-complete’ 4G coverage for 99.8% of the British population. Additionally, EE has revealed that it is continuing to roll out voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) across the country, noting that the service is already live in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Belfast, Leeds and Newcastle, while a switch-on across the rest of the network is expected by July 2016.
Rounding out its announcements, EE has said it is ‘on-shoring’ some 600 customer service roles in order to ensure that all EE customer calls are answered in the UK and Ireland by the end of this year. As per its plans, over 100 jobs will be created in Merthyr, North Tyneside, Plymouth and Ireland by end-June 2016, at which date all of EE’s post-paid subscribers will be handled onshore. A further 500 jobs – providing services for EE’s pre-paid and fixed services customers – will be created at locations due to be announced throughout the second half of 2016.