If you want a piece of the LTE action in the UK, there’s only one provider to go to, and that’s EE. Some may have lamented the high prices the network is charging, but today the company is further trying to justify them by announcing a large increase in speed. EE says that peak download speeds will soon be able to hit 80Mbit/s, with average download speeds also rising to around 20Mbit/s.
Better yet, prices on current plans will remain unchanged, so customers will be able to take advantage of the increased speeds for free. That’s assuming they’re in one of the enabled cities, of course. EE won’t be flipping the switch across the whole of the UK straight away. Instead, the network will be rolling out the speed boost to ten cities starting in the summer. Those include Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, and Sheffield.
The company says that it will be doubling the amount of 1800Mhz spectrum it uses to provide LTE service, enabling those envious download numbers and adding further capacity to the network. EE is also hoping the increased bandwidth will bring more customers to the service. Uptake has been slow so far, despite the headstart the network has had over its competitors. Still, the company remains optimistic, and hopes to hit a million subscribers before the end of the year.
EE is also going to take advantage of the 800Mhz and 2100Mhz spectrum is acquired during Ofcom’s recent 4G auction. The network aims to trial carrier aggregation, a feature that combines different bands of spectrum to provide the best possible capacity and performance. In addition, EE is contemplating other technology for its network such as voice over Wi-Fi and Voice over LTE, both of which would bring improved call quality.