EE Signs Up Two Million 4G Customers

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined
as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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One million new customers opt for EE’s 4G service in just four months

EE says it now has two million 4G customers, more than double its target of one million subscribers by the end of 2013, and claims the UK has the highest LTE sign-up rate outside of South Korea.

The operator says it took ten months to secure its first one million customers, but just four months to sign up the next million, claiming adoption was accelerated by increased coverage and demand from businesses for superfast speeds.

The EE network covers 70 percent of the UK population in 160 towns and cities and three quarters of new and upgrading SMEs opt for the 4G service. In addition, the company says it has more than 4,000 corporate customers, including Expedia, Ikea, Microsoft and The Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead.

EE 4G customers

EE 4G Olaf Swantee (2)“We’re incredibly proud of being the first UK operator to bring 4G to the UK and, in just over a year, exceeding our target by reaching two million 4G customers across the country,” says CEO Olaf Swantee. “We continue to have particular success converting our existing base to 4G, with approximately two out of three new 4G customers moving over from Orange and T-Mobile plans.

“This year, our network priority is to deliver the benefits of superfast mobile internet to more of the UK and invent even more innovative ways for our customers to make the most of their 4G experience.”

Data usage on the EE network rose by 70 percent during 2013, with the operator revealing that the use of social media spiked on New Years Eve, with Facebook, Skype, Instagram and Twitter all popular at the stroke of midnight. It says Facebook traffic doubled and messages sent through WhatsApp increased seven-fold.

EE was the first UK operator to launch a 4G service back in November 2012, but Three, O2 and Vodafone have all launched competing services since. The company still enjoys a considerable lead in terms of subscribers and coverage and has refreshed its tariff offerings in an attempt to maintain its advantage.

It also plans to invest £275 million on its voice service in 2014, upgrading network equipment at a number of 2G and 3G sites to increase capacity and holding trials of future services such as Voice over LTE (VoLTE).

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