EE to double 4G network capacity and speeds in 10 U.K. cities by summerAlex Wagner - Deputy Managing Editor, News Desk
After first launching its 4G LTE service in 11 U.K. cities late in 2012, European carrier EE today announced that it plans to give its 4G network a boost by doubling the amount of spectrum bandwidth it uses. EE explains that it plans to increase the 1800MHz spectrum bandwidth from 10MHz to 20MHz, which the operator claims will double a user's average speeds to more than 20Mbps, while also boosting "headline 4G speeds" to over 80Mbps. The increased network speeds are expected to hit 10 U.K. cities by the summer: Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Sheffield.
Looking ahead, EE's got big plans for the remainder of 2013. The carrier says that it will use its recently-acquired 800MHz and 2.6GHz spectrum to bolster the capacity and reach of its existing 1800MHz 4G network, and it's planning to reach its one millionth 4G customer by Christmas. EE will also begin testing of carrier aggregation sometime later this year. Carrier aggregation, a major feature of LTE-Advanced, will combine spectrum from EE's different spectrum bands to improve the capacity, performance and speed of its network. Rounding out EE's 2013 plans, the operator says that it'll begin investing in new services such as voice calls over Wi-Fi and both voice and video calls over LTE.
Sounds like a good time to be a 4G LTE customer on EE, no? Of course, most of the carrier's news today requires that a subscriber actually have access to EE's LTE network, but the good news is that EE plans to expand the 50-city footprint of its LTE coverage to include 80 cities by June. It's not yet known exactly which towns will be the lucky ones to join EE's LTE Club, but for anyone that's still waiting to gain access to the service, just the news that it'll soon be spreading to 30 more cities is good to hear. EE expects to cover 98 percent of the U.K. population with 4G service by the end of 2014.