EE customers first to benefit from 4G speeds when travelling to France and Spain
UK mobile operator, EE, has announced it is to offer customers access to superfast 4G in France and Spain. The deals are the first of a series of outbound roaming agreements that will allow EE customers to enjoy 4G speeds in Europe.
EE will additionally extend its 4G coverage across major roaming destination including the US, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands by the summer. EE announced inbound 4G roaming for US travellers in the UK in December 2013.
Olaf Swantee, CEO at EE said: 'Our customers will be the first to benefit in France and Spain today, with the most popular travel destinations to follow in the coming months. Whether it's working on the move, social networking, using maps, or just finding a great place to eat in an unknown city, our customers will now benefit from the same superfast and reliable mobile experience at home and overseas.'
Mark Windle, head of marketing at telecoms software provider, OpenCloud, commented on EE's move and falling roaming rates for European mobile operators: 'In order to compete effectively in the marketplace, operators need to offer consumers something new, something they value, and something unique to, and owned by, the operator's brand. Internet brands, such as Google, already take this approach to add value for users so they keep coming back. Operators must replicate this model and routinely offer customers new services, which will add value and strengthen customer loyalty to their 4G networks.'
While Daniel Russo, senior manager of product management at network intelligence provider, Tektronix Communications, stated: 'Already facing slowing profits, exponentially increasing data traffic and loss of service opportunity to OTT providers, one of an operator's most lucrative revenue streams [roaming revenues]is now being progressively squeezed by the EU. Carrier service providers must either adapt their business models accordingly, or risk being swept away in what could be a major industry consolidation across Europe. Although commercial operating conditions in Europe are challenging, a positive outcome is within the reach of the agile operator.'
With a range of consumer price plans including £3 for 100 megabits of data in a 24 hour period, EE customers can use 4G data while abroad without fear of spending more than they expected. Customers on 4GEE Extra plans also get unlimited roaming minutes and texts to select countries as part of their plan.
The option to enjoy 4G speeds abroad is immediately available to consumer and small business customers, with corporate customers to follow soon.