EE 4G Now Has 687,000 Subscribers As Adoption Accelerates

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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EE says it is on track to meet its target of one million 4G customers by the end of 2013

The number of subscribers to the EE 4G service has risen to 687,000 as the rate of LTE adoption doubled during the second quarter of 2013.

The UK’s only current 4G operator said it added 216,000 new contract customers during the quarter, a 6.3 percent year-on-year increase, with 56 percent of new or upgrading customers opting for 4G contracts or 4G-ready smartphones.

EE claimed it is firmly on track to meet its target of securing one million 4G subscribers before the end of 2013 and said more than half of its customers are now on contract price plans that generate six times the average revenue per user (ARPU) than pay-as-you-go.

EE 4G subscribers

EE launches the UK’s first ever fleet of superfast 4G taxis in London and BirminghamTurnover increased by 3.1 percent year-on-year during the first half of 2013 to £3.21 billion as service revenues rose 4.9 percent to £2.84 billion. EE said it has achieved 92 percent of its cost savings target of £445 million and hopes its 4G service will continue to be a key differentiator.

“Today’s results demonstrate our success in building our new brand and differentiating our network to drive commercial momentum while continuing to deliver cost savings to increase our margin performance,” he said. “We’ve doubled the rate at which we’re adding 4G customers and doubled our 4G speeds across 15 cities to deliver the world’s fastest network for our customers – indoors, outdoors and on key commuter routes.”

Last year, EE was granted permission to launch a 4G network using its 1800MHz bandwidth ahead of the Ofcom spectrum auction. The service went live in October, attracting 318,000 customers in its first few months.

EE’s 4G monopoly will end later this summer when rival services from O2, Three and Vodafone launch, but the operator hopes it can make the most of its head start by improving coverage and its range of services.

The EE 4G network now covers nearly 60 percent of the UK, while speeds of up to 60Mbps and averages of 24 to 30Mbps are possible in 15 ‘double speed’ cities. The high cost of the 4G plans has been criticised, but customers who sign up before 30 September will receive double data allowances for the lifetime of their contract.

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