EE 4G+ is launching in central London today, bringing LTE-A data speeds to mobile users and offering a more reliable 4G experience for existing EE customers.
For a carrier that’s built its reputation on offering some of the fastest mobile data speeds around, it’s always exciting when even those numbers get a considerable boost. Today EE is celebrating the launch of its new LTE-A (the ‘A’ stands for Advanced) network, which makes use of the carrier’s 2.6GHz spectrum to offer significantly faster real-world mobile data speeds and greater reliability for existing customers.
We spoke with Tom Bennett, Director of Network Services and Devices at EE, who explained why EE 4G+ is going to be great for customers beyond the extra speed, “Every 4G customer will get a better experience. That’s what this new bandwidth really means.”
Currently most EE users won’t actually be able to enjoy the 4G+ speed improvements, which have been tested to peak at around 150Mbps and average at around 90Mbps outside of lab conditions. Save for a small handful of handsets, most 4G capable devices currently in circulation sport Cat 4 LTE, whilst the LTE-A speeds this new technology is offering come under Cat 6 classification.
If you’re the proud new owner of a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 or Samsung Galaxy Alpha, you’re already Cat 6-compatible, whilst the newly released Huawei Honor 6 should also fit the mold and allow users to get at those faster speeds on a budget.
The other handset EE intends to swap out over the coming weeks is the Samsung Galaxy S5. Current S5 owners who purchased their handset with EE are likely sporting the traditional Cat 4 model, but soon enough new customers who pick up an S5 will have Cat 6 capability as part and parcel of the same packages. Whilst this might be a sting for owners having just unboxed their shiny new S5s, at least they still benefit from a less congested network.
The arrival of EE 4G+ comes just after the carrier hit its target of accumulating over six million 4G customers before the year’s end. For the time being EE 4G+ coverage is confined to specific areas of central London including Tech City, but by the end of Q2 next year, we were told that the new network will be extended to greater London and beyond.
Are you excited by these faster 4G speeds or are you still ticking along on HSPA? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.