TECH

EE Announces UK 4G Subscriptions Hit 500,000 In Seven Months

06/06/2013 11:34 BST | Updated 06/08/2013 10:12 BST
PA
General views during the 4G EE launch at Glasgow's Buchanan street store. A new era for mobile phone use begins today as superfast 4G products and services are made available to millions of consumers in 11 cities across the UK.

The UK's mobile phone networks are gearing up to launch their new 4G services this summer - but after a seven months head start it looks like EE has built up a bit of a lead.

According to EE more than 500,000 UK customers have signed up to 4G.

The company said that puts the UK on a pace to become the fastest growing 4G market in Europe.

Without competition it's impossible to know what this means for 4G in general, especially after a relatively difficult start in which EE was criticised for the value of its new LTE plans.

But half a million subscribers is a solid number - and EE is keen to capitalise, announcing plans to increase speeds in ten cities to up to 80 mbps, bring new cities online (Aberdeen, Bath, Brighton, Cambridge, Ipswich and Swansea) and targeting airports and shopping centres as it expands its network.

Meanwhile EE also announced the launch of its official Glastonbury app, which this year comes with access to 250 hours of streaming BBC coverage.

Olaf Swantee, CEO of EE said in a statement:

"Last year we launched the UK’s first superfast 4G and fibre network. Since then we’ve worked relentlessly to increase the breadth and depth of our reach.

"By the end of June, we will have rolled out 4G across 55% of the population, and will continue to switch on new towns and cities."

Kester Mann, senior analyst operator at CSS Insight, said the numbers showed EE had made a good start.

"Reaching 500,000 customers places EE among the leading European operators in terms of 4G subscriber uptake. This represents a remarkable turn-around for the UK, which is on track to become the largest European market by 4G subscribers this year," he said.

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