EE is set to roll out LTE-A across central London as its network reaches 75 percent coverage
EE 4G users with a Cat 6 LTE device can now receive speeds of up to 150Mbps in parts of central London thanks to the operator’s new LTE-Advanced (LTE-A), or 4G+, network.
The faster speeds are now available in Shoreditch, Old Street, Southbank, Westminster and Kensington and will be available to all of Greater London by June 2015 before covering major cities like Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester.
‘4G+’ is achieved by carrier aggregation, which involves pairing 1800MHz spectrum with the 2.6GHz band, and can in theory offer speeds of up to 300Mbps. Currently, only the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and the Samsung Galaxy Alpha are compatible with Cat 6 networks, but other users should still benefit from the extra capacity afforded by the addition of more airwaves.
EE currently has six million 4G customers, making it the largest LTE operator in Europe, and the company says its latest rollout makes it one of the fastest mobile networks in the world with speeds comparable to that of fixed line fibre.
“The UK is now back to being a world leader in mobile networks,” declared EE CEO Olaf Swantee. “Just two years since we were behind every developed market from the US to Japan, we’ve invested in innovation, driven competition and given people in London a mobile network that’s faster than almost any other in the world, and even faster than most fibre broadband available here.”
EE is also expanding its basic 4G service, adding 19 new locations, with Warwick declared the 300th town to be covered by the network.
Alexandria, Banbury, Biggleswade, Blaydon, Catterick Garrison, Cookstown, Garforth, Greenock, Holmfirth, Limavady, Maltby, Oxted, Penicuik, Tring, Waltham Cross, Warminster,Winterbourne, and Ystrad Mynach are the other settlements to be added.
EE 4G now reaches 75 percent of te UK population, while its double speed service of 60Mbps covers 50 percent, with 20 more locations set to be added by the end of the year. 400Mbps 4G is also being tested by the operator at Wembley Stadium, although no commercial devices can support such speeds.
Vodafone has launched LTE-A in London, Birmingham and Manchester using its 800MHz and 2.6GHz spectrum. It refers to the faster speeds as ‘4.5G’ and says the use of carrier aggregation will boost capacity and indoor coverage significantly.
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