As mobile network EE celebrates reaching 10 million 4G customers, making it Europe’s largest 4G network, it has also announced that 4G has overtaken 3G use for the first time.
On the EE network total 4G traffic has now outpaced total 3G traffic. The growth of 4G hasn’t just benefited towns and cities, it has also benefitted rural areas which had very limited access to 3G. As an example the data consumption in rural Scotland has increased 60% since the launch of 4G, while data usage in Wales has gone up 50%. EE now claims to provide 4G coverage to 87% of the population.
To celebrate the 10 million milestone as well as the growth of 4G compared with 3G, EE has commissioned a series of images from digital artist Colin Hayward to represent a day of customer activity across the 4GEE network. The flower design illustrates the mobile interactions enabled by 4G including video streaming, web browsing, social media, and gaming, and the roots symbolise the large volume of data being carried across the network. Randomly placed points on the spheres or flowers represent a given number of actions performed on the network and each point is connected to the root symbolising the flow of data. EE is giving away ten limited edition prints of the flower image via social media channels this month.
To coincide with the announcements, EE has released its latest Mobile Living Index, which has been following data use and consumer trends since the EE 4G network was first launched. The latest index has been used as the basis for the images and predicts that an enormous amount of data will be carried across the network over the coming years – at least one extra Exabyte (1,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes) by 2018. To put this into context this is equal to streaming 38,000 years of high definition film and is triple the amount of data the network currently carries. This increase will largely be driven by video viewing and social media.
According to Olaf Swantee, EE’s Chief Executive Officer, “EE pioneered 4G in the UK and we’re determined to keep the country at the forefront of innovation. We were the first to launch 4G+, and the first to introduce WiFi Calling in the UK. We are bringing our 4G network coverage to where it is needed most – enhancing the quality of life of people who live in the most rural and underserved parts of the country.
Our network advances have truly unlocked the power of the mobile internet, so much so that customer usage is doubling and we predict our 4G network, built for capacity, will comfortably handle more than an Exabyte of data per year by 2018. People are using 4G to change how they live and work, and one of the most exciting areas to watch is healthcare, which looks set to be transformed by access to superfast 4G.”
We’ll be looking at the latest Mobile Living Index from EE in our next blog post, including key findings regarding video streaming, mobile mapping, mobile gaming, email, and music streaming. The report also highlights a particular rise in the use of health related apps which we’ll look at in more detail.