In preparation for the launch of its competitors’ 4G LTE networks in the UK, EE has vowed to target a million customers by the end of the year, and entice them onto the network by doubling the average 4G data speeds currently on offer. With the speed boost will come twice the capacity, as EE adds another 10MHz of 1800MHz spectrum dedicated to its high speed data network.
In the press release a lot of very fast sounding figures are quoted. For example, the double-speed, or Enhanced 4G as it also calls it, will take the headline speeds up to 80Mbps or even 130Mbps. However, later it says these are both figures obtained in a laboratory, and the real world speeds will be more like 20Mbps.
Like it has done with its 4G LTE coverage from the start, the double-speed rollout will initially be staggered and limited to 10 cities in the UK – Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Sheffield. Here, EE will have the 20Mbps service up and running by the summer. Recently, EE’s standard 4G LTE service reached 50 percent nationwide coverage, and will gain another 5 percent by June.
Perhaps the best news from EE is it will not charge any more for its double-speed 4G network. EE has been criticized for its high prices and low inclusive data packages, so the increase in basic speed will at least see the existing tariffs become slightly better value.
Despite the Ofcom spectrum auction being completed, where EE’s rivals purchased chunks of 4G-capable spectrum; there has been no word when a competing high speed data network will arrive in the country. EE’s making the most of its exclusivity, and wants to attract a million 4G subscribers in total by the end of 2013. It’s a lofty goal, but as there’s still no competition in sight, if it continues to rollout initiatives such as this one, it has a great chance of achieving it.