Other 4G networks might be starting to close the performance gap to EE, but it is still the UK’s largest 4G network, and today it reported hitting 5.6 million customers during the third quarter of the year.
EE – the first network to launch 4G – picked up an additional 1.4 million 4G subscribers during the three months to September, which was the quickest quarterly growth the super-fast network has experienced so far. EE is on target to reach six million 4G customers by the end of the year, and can claim to be the largest 4G operator in Europe. It isn’t only private consumer accounts that are increasing – the network now has over 6,000 corporate accounts including Scotia Gas and MasterCard.
EE suggest there are a couple of reasons for this extraordinary growth:
UK consumers are starting to understand the benefits of 4G.
During the three months to September 82% of new customers purchasing pay-monthly plans chose 4G plans, and a third of these opted to have EE’s double speed service known as 4GEE Extra.
The popularity of EE’s own brand devices.
During recent months EE launched a number of affordable own-brand devices such as the Kestrel smartphone which is available free of charge with the majority of EE’s 4G pay monthly plans.
In addition to its direct customers, EE also operates MVNO deals with BT and Asda, and reports an increase in these type of connections from 3.8 million to 5.6 million year-on-year. The network operator has also taken on 58 ex-Phones 4U stores. Despite growth in all areas, regulatory cuts saw EE revenues fall by 1.2% but the network remains positive.
According to Neal Milsom, CFO at EE, “We are delivering consistent underlying performance in a highly competitive environment while continuing to face significant regulatory pressure on our revenues. We are investing to further innovate on behalf of our customers by delivering not just the best network but also improvements in customer service, a range of attractive EE branded devices, shared plans, and soon EE TV.”
Physical expansion of the 4GEE network
At the beginning of the month EE celebrated the launch of 4G in an additional 18 towns across the UK, which were Abingdon, Ashton-In-Makerfield, Brownhills, Corringham, Faversham, Fleetwood, Formby, Hebburn, Helensburgh, Hoddesdon, Holywood, Hythe, Prestatyn, Sandhurst, Spennymoor, Tilbury, Waltham Abbey and Wombourne. To mark the arrival of 4G in Sandhurst EE commissioned a photo shoot with Prince Harry lookalike Roddy Walker at the Royal Military Academy in the town.
With the additional towns the EE 4G network now covers 75% of the UK population across 281 larger towns and cities and approximately 2,500 smaller towns and villages.
Spencer McHugh, Director of Brand at EE, said: “Our ongoing 4G roll out means that our customers have access to by far the biggest network in the country. Whether you’re at work or on the go, 4GEE lets you do so much more. From superfast web browsing to streaming HD video, even the most disciplined people won’t be able to resist getting on their mobile!”