EE, the joint venture between Orange and T-mobile, announced yesterday that they had added 12 towns and cities to increase 4G coverage (aka LTE) adding to the already vast coverage, bearing in mind they only started in December 2012.
Aylesbury, Berkhamsted, Billericay, Blackpool, Brentwood, Dewsbury, Huddersfield, Lytham St Annes, Marlow, Pontefract, Thame and Windsor will all be able to get 4G as of this week.
EE added that they intend to have the total number of cities at 80 by the end of June 2013 and to 70% of the UK population by the end of the year, with a forecast of reaching 98% of the population by the end of 2014. Remember, not even 3G coverage reaches 100% of the population, as there are vast areas of the country, such as moors, mountains and forests, where it is too impractical to place cell towers. 98% coverage tends to include all populated cities, major roads and transport networks. Even at 70% many areas will be covered in a 4G coverage, which is encouraging.
Olaf Swantee, chief executive of EE, said of the increase “Consumers and businesses in the UK use mobile internet more than any other market, and rely on it for long commutes; there is a demand for the best mobile services, and we’re working to meet that demand.”
Double Speed 4G:
EE also announced earlier this year that they would be releasing ‘double speed 4G in 10 cities this summer, which was confirmed by Swantee in his statement. EE aims to crank up the speed to a maximum of 80 Mbps (fast enough to rival some broadband speeds), with the average being 20Mbps. The 10 cities have not been named as yet, but it’s fair to assume London will be one of them.
In a first financial quarter sales report, EE disclosed that 318,000 customers had upgraded to 4G, with an estimated 1 million by the end of the year. It’s a fair bet that many people will be waiting for their contract to finish, and may upgrade to a 4G plan then. I have no doubt that early adopters of the Samsung S3 may soon be making the move, and with iPhone upgrades coming later this year, another wave of contracts will finish and be available to move up to 4G.
Have you upgraded to 4G? Is your town/city mentioned above, and if so, will this persuade you to get a 4G contract next? Drop us a line in the comments.