In a week of controversy surrounding the speed of the 4GEE network, the provider has announced that it has reached a tipping point in 4G adoption, where it now sells more 4G contracts than 3G contracts. EE has also announced plans to launch new 4G WiFi devices, as well as a significant network expansion.
A bit like its latest advert, last week was a bit of a rollercoaster for EE. It appeared that the CEO of RootMetrics, the same company that recently named EE as the highest performing 4G network, had suggested that the 4GEE network was slowing down. Speaking to PC Pro, Bill Moore indicated that EE’s network was slowing down as more users signed up to it, while other networks were speeding up.
The comments were later clarified with Mr Moore saying that in fact on average EE were maintaining speeds across the market while other networks were increasing their speeds. In regard to EE he said “What is slowing down is the rate of speed increases we saw from last year.”
Perhaps in response to this speculation, EE then made an announcement about rapid network expansion, and a series of new 4G WiFi products and services that are due to be released. The highlights of the announcement were as follows:
EE Now Sells More 4G Contracts than 3G
With 3.6 million customers on 4GEE, the operator is now selling more 4G contracts than 3G. Olaf Swantee, CEO of EE, said: “With more experience of 4G than any other UK operator, we have unique insight into how the technology is changing behaviour. In fact, 4G is having such a rapid impact that we forecast that 97% of our base will be on 4G devices by 2018.”
EE is Expanding its 4G Network
EE is accelerating its rural rollout of 4G and now provides coverage to 2,588 small towns and villages with a population under 10,000. The network is also focussing on the transport network and plans to increase 4G coverage on the busiest roads in the UK to improve in-car navigation and passenger data usage. Finally EE will be extending its double speed 4G network to 40 towns and cities by the end of the year.
EE is Launching Branded 4G WiFi Devices
A series of EE branded 4G broadband devices are due to be launched at the end of the month. These include the UK’s first 4G in-car WiFi which is called the Buzzard and will turn the car into a 4G WiFi hotspot for up to ten devices, and an affordable 4G tablet which is known as the Eagle and costs £199 on pay as you go. Two new 4G WiFi devices, the Kite and the Osprey, are optimised for EE’s double speed 4G network and are aimed at busy professionals and tech savvy teenagers respectively. To support these new devices, EE will also be launching a range of new 4G WiFi plans for consumers and businesses.
Despite a little negative publicity, it seems that EE is surging forward, and the network is keen to prove that it is still the biggest, fastest, and most reliable 4G network in the UK.