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EE LTE sign-ups overtake 3G

EE CEO Olaf Swantee

UK LTE leader EE has revealed that 4G subscriber sign-ups overtook 3G subscriptions during this month. The firm now has 3.6 million LTE customers and CEO Olaf Swantee, who announced the landmark “tipping point” at a media briefing Wednesday, forecast that the number will grow to six million by the end of this year.

More than half of EE’s LTE data traffic is accounted for by video, said Swantee, adding that LTE users have increased data consumption by 66 per cent in a year.

To meet demand the firm said it has accelerated its network rollout into rural areas, providing LTE coverage to 2,588 villages and small towns, and doubled the footprint of its “double-speed” enhanced LTE service. The firm is also looking to improve network availability along major transport routes.

Part of the reason for this was evident in the launch of the “Buzzard”,  an in-car wifi hotspot backhauled over the firm’s LTE network. The device, which plugs into a standard 12v connection can accommodate up to ten devices and enables customers to “avoid the need for expensive in-built solutions,” EE said.

“With more experience of 4G than any other UK operator, we have unique insight into how the technology is changing behaviour. Our mobile devices have effectively become mini TVs with video traffic already making up over half the data on our 4G network,” said Swantee. “We’re committed to remaining one step ahead – adapting our network to make 4G available where it matters most, with a focus on more rural areas, transport links and offering our customers the best network experience and great value, innovative devices and plans.”

 

The 10th annual LTE World Summit, the premier 4G event for the telecoms industry, is taking place on the 23rd-26th June 2014, at the Amsterdam RAI, Netherlands. Click here to download a brochure for the event.

 

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