EE Tackles More Not-Spots To Extend 4G Coverage

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Operator installs more mobile masts and upgrades 4,000 existing sites to further spread of its 4G network

Mobile operator EE has released information about upgrades to its mobile network, as it seeks to achieve its goal of 95 percent UK coverage of its 4G network by 2020.

In the last six months, the BT owned operator has installed 105 new sites with mobile masts, and has upgraded 4,000 existing locations to 4G over the past year.

Last month EE revealed it was also tackling rural broadband with the installation of a 4G antenna at premises where, because of their remote location, they cannot get fast broadband speeds via a traditional fixed-line connection.

EE 4G

Network expansion

But EE is not neglecting its core 4G network and it said the over the last 12 months it has filled more than 12,000 square kilometres of mobile not-spots.

This is the equivalent of more than 1.5 million football pitches.

And the 105 new locations is into virgin territory (mostly Scotland, north Wales and northern England), with most locations previously having no mobile coverage from any other operator.

EE said these new sites have already carried more than 200 emergency 999 calls from people that would have previously had to drive to an area to get coverage, or use a landline.

EE said these new sites would be included into the Emergency Services Network, which will enable emergency services workers to communicate using 4G across the country.

“Our customers need a 4G connection wherever they go,” said CEO Marc Allera. “We’ve added an enormous amount of coverage in the last year, upgrading existing sites and building completely new ones to keep our customers connected in more places than ever before.”

“Mobile coverage is critical to consumers and businesses and can provide a lifeline for those in need of support from the emergency services – that’s why we keep focusing on filling in more mobile not-spots across Britain,” he added.

Network rankings

Over the past few years, EE has consistently dominated the mobile operator rankings according to the RootMetrics categories of network reliability, network speed, as well as data, call, and text performance.

Seattle-based RootMetrics has been carrying out network tests in the US since 2008, and moved to the UK in the last few years, but not without some opposition.

Some operators (mostly the ones that don’t do too well in its rankigns) have disputed the firm’s findings and methods. Indeed, the colourful CEO John Legere of T-Mobile in the US reportedly called RootMetrics’ rankings “bullshit”.

And O2 – which traditionally has not been well rated by RootMetrics – is also not a fan. It has complained that RootMetrics doesn’t share enough data and its tests are not accurate.

But RootMetrics has defended its approach and told Silicon in 2015 that its scientific approach gives the best indication of how well a network will perform, giving consumers the chance to make an informed decision and networks the opportunity to improve their service.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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