EE to target 1m 4G customers by Christmas, double 4G speeds in 10 cities

Alex Walls
April 9, 2013

Everything Everywhere will target a total of one million 4G customers by Christmas.

The network operator would also double 4G speeds and capacity in 10 cities this summer, it said.

Chief executive Olaf Swantee said today the company had nearly 27 million customers in total. Its 4G network would cover 55% of the population in 80 cities and towns by 2013, with currently 50% of the population covered today in 50 cities and towns.  The company had 1000 corporate accounts, he said.

And now the company was on track to sign up over one million 4G customers by the end of this year, which was equivalent to about 8% of its pay monthly base, within 14 months.

Doubling 4G speeds and capacity

The company had been trialling doubling current 4G speeds and capacity in Cardiff, which had seen top speeds of 80Mbps.

The roll out of “turbocharged” 4G would see top speeds of 130Mbps throughput, with average speeds of above 20 Mbps, Swantee said.

The roll out would start this summer in 10 cities including Birmingham, London, Manchester and Edinburgh, and would comprise roll out from the city centre to the metropolitan area; in London this meant from the city centre to the M25, Swantee said.

The roll out of doubled speed and capacity would take place over the next two years with an aim for 98% population coverage by the end of 2014, but the continuing 4G roll out would take precedence.

UK back on track

Swantee said the roll out would help put the UK back on track in terms of mobile, where it had lost ground to the likes of the United States.  The UK could once again become a global leader in mobile communications, he said.

Overall, the network predicted 750% growth in the next three years for mobile internet, with a 313% rise in mobile commerce.

LTE-A trials would begin by the end of 2013, Swantee said. EE had met a number of device manufacturers in confidentiality to demonstrate the network’s capabilities.

Cheaper 4G handsets, but no unlimited data

Swantee said Everything Everywhere (EE) was working with manufacturers to “democratize” 4G and make it available to more market segments, since most 4G devices were available at a higher price point.  He was very confident that the market would see more lower cost 4G devices in the coming months, he said.

However, today was a network announcement, not a pricing announcement.  EE was happy with its tariffs and data bundles and that it believed its portfolios of such were correct – so no unlimited data as yet, folks.

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