EE launches 4G UK network expansion
EE has launched an ambitious 4G network expansion in the UK which could see all major cities covered by 2017
EE has launched ‘the next phase’ of its 4G network, saying it expects this to allow subscribers to get ‘the best performance from the world’s fastest smartphones’. EE claims that its ability to provide a ‘unique’ layer of extra capacity will enable Cat 9 devices, such as the Samsung Galaxy S7, to download data faster.
EE claims that is currently available in more than 150 towns and cities across the UK. Now it plans to enable access to a third block of spectrum for high-speed 4G services at over 500 sites across these towns and cities by the end of 2017. EE is claiming downlink speeds of 450Mbps and has said it is combining 20MHz of spectrum in the 1800MHz band with a further 35MHz in the 2600MHz band. It claims this provides the highest capacity of any UK operator through the widest available spectrum for 4G services.
The new high-capacity network is live in Wembley Stadium, with activation on sites in central London expected to take place this year, starting in east London’s Tech City. EE has said the next locations for rollout will be the UK’s ‘busiest’ cities, including Birmingham and Manchester. Meanwhile, the company has said that its network now covers more than two-thirds of the UK’s territory, and it aims to increase this to 95% by 2020.
EE says that this ‘unique’ layer of extra capacity in the EE 4G network will keep all smartphones faster on EE than on any other UK network, and will make the latest 'Cat 9' devices among the fastest smartphones in the world.
The lab-based maximum, says EE, that a Cat 9 device can achieve, is 450Mbps, and the HTC M10 just achieved a real-world speed of over 360Mbps on the EE network at Wembley Stadium.
EE CEO, Marc Allera, said: “There’s no point having the latest smartphones on a network that can’t support the top speeds the device is capable of. We’ve invested in our network to ensure that all of our customers get the most out of the amazing smartphones they have, and can keep up with the highest speeds that the latest devices offer. With 4G+ now supporting Cat 9 devices, plus Wi-Fi Calling and 4G Calling, customers on EE will continue to get more from their new smartphone than on any other network in the UK.”