EE’s advantage grows with 1m 4G customers

Oliver Smith
Follow Oliver
MOBILE operator Everything Everywhere (EE) yesterday announced that more than 1m customers are now on its 4G mobile network.

The news came just after rival networks O2 and Vodafone launched their own 4G services last week.

EE, which owns Orange and T-Mobile, originally set a target of reaching 1m 4G customers by the end of this year, 14 months after the service was launched. However, yesterday’s announcement beat this

target by four months.

“We have seen one of the fastest adoption rates in the world and I’m immensely proud to announce today that we have reached a significant milestone,” said EE chief executive Olaf Swantee.

EE won early approval from Ofcom last October to start rolling out its 4G network,

giving the group a 10-month head start over its rivals.

The network now has coverage in over 100 towns across the UK, whereas 4G service from O2 and Vodafone is only available to a handful of UK customers, with O2 rolling out its service in London, Leeds and Bradford, and Vodafone launching only in London.

With O2 and Vodafone playing catch-up, and Three – the UK’s smallest mobile network – not launching their 4G network until December, questions have been raised whether EE has an unbeatable advantage.

“EE is likely to have a coverage advantage for at least the next 18 months, and also have a speed advantage as well, because of the spectrum they are using,” said James Barford, a telecoms analyst at Enders Analysis.

Barford added that rival networks will “likely catch up... but it will take them a while to get there.”