Double-speed 4G to reach 90% of the population, with highest capacity 4G+ in 20 of the busiest UK cities by 2017, plus Rural Investment programme targeting coverage enhancements
EE has stated it has committed to invest £1.5 billion between now and 2017 as part of its new manifesto ‘Signalling the Future’, designed to tackle the UK’s changing digital infrastructure needs, and lay the foundations for the UK to be a global leader. In this second phase of its network strategy, EE will focus on extending its number one rated 4G network to more than 99% of the population and 90% of the UK’s geography.
EE CEO Olaf Swantee said: “Stage one of our network strategy saw us overhaul UK mobile networks, launching 4G and changing the way people and businesses use their smart devices. This revolution of the mobile landscape has made the UK a leader in global communications once again.
“Today we’re announcing the next stage with a commitment to, once again, radically improve mobile coverage, this time with a strong focus on rural UK, all while continuing to increase speeds and capacity with deeper coverage in more cities,” continued Swantee.
As part of its Signalling the Future Manifesto, EE is committing to voice and 4G data coverage across 90% of the UK’s geography. It will use micro network technology to make phone calls and mobile data available in 1,500 communities that are not currently connected by either reliable mobile or high speed broadband. It will deploy low frequency 800MHz spectrum across the EE rural network to expand the EE’s reach by more than 1,500 square miles, an area bigger than the Lake District and Peak District National Parks combined.
Double speed 4G will be delivered to 90% of the UK population, enabling data speeds up to 60Mbps to smartphones and tablets and double-speed 4G will arrive for twenty of the UK’s busiest cities, doubling capacity for every user and enabling 150Mbps speeds to customers with the latest devices. It will also introduce 4G voice (VoLTE) to enable phone calls over 4G data services to thousands of homes and businesses that have never been covered by EE before.
WiFi Calling will be enabled on a range of iOS, Microsoft Windows and Android devices to enable mobile calls and texts for every home, office and recreational venue with broadband from 2Mbps.
EE will provide mobile voice coverage of more than 90% of the UK’s 245,000 miles of roads by 2017, up from the current coverage of around 82%, focusing on motorways first, then A and B roads, as well as specific 4G expansion to cover the country’s busiest train routes.
The EE network supports over seven billion customer requests for internet content every single day; that is 81,000 requests every second, up more than 60% on last year. EE intends to have a call completion rate of 99.6% as the network carries more than 150 million calls per day.
EE principal network architect, Professor Andy Sutton, said: “We’ve invested in 4G and taken the UK back to a position of leadership in mobile, and now we’re investing in 5G so that we can define the next step, and keep both us and the UK mobile industry one step ahead. Working closely with academic institutions such as the 5GIC at the University of Surrey and the EU’s Horizon 2020 ‘TWEETHER’ project at Lancaster University on technologies that are truly groundbreaking, EE will continue to change the way people think of what’s possible with mobile. We will continue to evolve new 4G technologies, as they lay the perfect foundation for being a global leader in 5G.”
Added Swantee: “Smart devices are playing an ever-increasing part in our customers’ lives in every part of the UK. With the £1.5bn investment plan, and our unceasing desire to continually improve the breadth and performance of our network, we are at the forefront of the new mobile era that is changing customers’ lives every day.”