- EE converting airwaves from 2G to superfast 4G
- 600 EE sites being upgraded to support next generation ‘CAT 12’ smartphones set to hit the UK market in 2017
- EE expanding UK-wide 4G+ leadership with more than 1,000 sites supporting ‘Cat 9’ speeds above 400Mbps
- Sharing photos and video to get even faster on EE with upload speeds doubling to 100Mbps
- 4G Calling service now connecting more than 5 million EE customers with more than 300 million calls every month
EE, the UK’s largest mobile network operator and part of the BT Group, is upgrading more sites by converting 2G airwaves into superfast 4G speeds to drive the fastest mobile data speeds and most reliable voice service from the latest smartphones. The move furthers EE’s position as the number one network for smartphones in the UK.
More than 600 sites across cities including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh and Cardiff, will be upgraded with the latest 4G spectrum over the next six months. The sites will power the next wave of mobile devices to hit the UK market, equipped with ‘Cat 12’ and ‘Cat 16’ modems, making sure consumers are getting the most from their new smartphones.
These sites will also enable customers on the latest smartphones to share their work-on-the-go files and social media images and videos faster than ever before, by doubling the data upload speeds from the current maximum of 50Mbps to up to 100Mbps more than 900 sites across the UK.
Marc Allera, EE CEO, said:
“We keep investing in our network, and using our technology leadership to make sure customers are getting the most out of the latest smartphones. Customers need to be on 4G, getting the best out of their new devices with the highest quality phone calls and the fastest mobile data speeds. We’re converting 2G into 4G, because that’s what our customers need. So if you are choosing a new smartphone, the message is simple: there’s only one UK network that offers the best smartphone experience.”
EE already has the largest 4G+ footprint for both ‘Cat 6’ – in the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Apple iPhone 6s – and ‘Cat 9’ modems – in the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S8 and Apple iPhone 7, allowing customers to get faster speeds on their handsets in more places across the UK. Thanks to its investment in speed and coverage, EE is officially London’s best network for video, according to RootMetrics.
4G from EE now covers more than 85% of the UK geography. According to RootMetrics, EE customers spend 90% of their time to connected to 4G. And RootMetrics and OpenSignal both record EE customers getting the fastest mobile data speeds, with UK-wide averages above 30Mbps. In June 2017, EE demonstrated 428Mbps real world download speeds in Cardiff city centre on the Sony XZ Premium.
EE’s 4G Calling technology, available on every 4G site, is now used by more than 5 million customers making more than 300 million high quality calls every month.
How the technology works
EE’s fastest mobile sites are equipped with 20MHz of 1800MHz spectrum, and 35MHz of 2.6GHz spectrum. Converting – or ‘refarming’ – another 10MHz of 1800MHz spectrum from 2G to 4G will further increase speeds and reliability.
EE has also invested in 4x4 MIMO, which sends and receives four signals instead of two, making the spectrum twice as efficient. EE is also rolling out 256QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation) technology, which increases the efficiency of the spectrum.
Innovations like these cutting edge technologies applied to EE’s award-winning 4G network help to further improve customer experience by increasing capacity, meaning faster speeds and a more reliable data experience.
Stay up to date with the latest industry developments: sign up to receive TelecomTV's top news and videos plus exclusive subscriber-only content direct to your inbox – including our daily news briefing and weekly wrap.