EE says that its superfast 4G is available in over 510 towns and cities, where over 7 million punters tap into double digit download speeds.
According to EE, it’s 7.7 million headcount not only makes it the biggest 4G provider in the UK but Europe as well.
This revelation heads a set of figures that chart EE’s efforts throughout 2014.
Now that around 80 per cent of UK customers can get 4G, the UK’s biggest network is focussing its efforts on reaching out to the rural areas, with a view to extending coverage to 98 per cent of the population by the end of 2015.
EE will help realise this by way of micro cells, concentrated signal boosters that provide coverage in a localised area. These can be set up quickly and without the need for new masts to be erected.
The first micro cell was set up last December in the Cumbrian village of Sebergham, home to 347, in just a few hours. The smallest village EE has connected via micro cells so far is Elvanfoot in South Lanarkshire (pictured).
EE plans to install over 1,500 cells over the next three years. Though it’s not talking about exceeding that 98 per cent target today, it’s easy to see how micro cells could extend its rural outreach.
Pending approval of the BT buyout, EE would be well positioned to take advantage of the several kilometers of fibre optic cable that has been installed up and down the country, improving coverage in tandem with the various BDUK (Broadband Delivery for the UK) projects.
EE is also experimenting with voice calls over 4G, which promises greater call clarity and signal strength. This is also linked to tests of calls over WiFi, something which BT is particularly keen to developing to power its forthcoming ‘inside-out’ network.
There’s also plans to increase EE’s reach of its 4G+ service, currently confined to a handful of places in and around London, and start testing even faster, up to 400Mbps services at Wembley Stadium this year.