EE activates LTE-A in Central London

EE has launched LTE-Advanced, which it is branding ‘4G+’, at some 150 sites across London, declaring the UK has “gone from a laggard back to being a leader.” As reported previously by, the new faster speeds are facilitated by carrier aggregation (CA) over the combination of 20MHz of 1800MHz and 20MHz of 2.6GHz spectrum.

Although the higher download speeds are only available on CAT6 devices, such as the Samsung Note 4 and Samsung Alpha, EE claims by adding the new 2.6GHz band, capacity and performance are increased for all of its 4G customers. The operator said it is rolling 4G+ to greater London and other major cities across UK next year.

“The UK is now back to being a world leader in mobile networks,” EE CEO Olaf Swantee said. “Just two years since we were behind every developed market from the US to Japan, we’ve invested in innovation, driven competition and given people in London a mobile network that’s faster than almost any other in the world, and even faster than most fibre broadband available here.”

EE claims 4G+, available at locations including London’s Shoreditch, Old Street, Southbank, Soho, Westminster and Kensington, offers speeds reaching 150Mbps, but the operator admitted regular speed on the service will be up to 90Mbps. The telco also said double speed 4G, reaching 60Mbps and enabled by the additional capacity from 4G+, now covers about 35 million people, with 20 more towns to be added to the network by the end of the year.

“We’re delighted to be able to exclusively offer our business and consumer customers, on EE plans, the fastest speeds available in the UK. We’re now the largest 4G network in Europe, but it doesn’t stop here,” Swantee said. “We’ll keep investing to make sure that all our customers can get access to the great mobile technology that can make a real difference to the way they live their digital lives.”

“We’re building a network for the future,” EE CTO Fotis Karonis said. “We’re making sure that there is enough speed, enabled by enough capacity, to let our growing 4GEE customer base do all the amazing things that are just breaking through now – 4K video over 4G, wearable technology, and increasingly sophisticated mobile business apps. Capacity is the lifeblood of a good mobile service, and we’re adding more here to give our customers the best possible mobile experience, now and into the future.”

EE said it continues its 4G rollout across the country, with the service now available in 300 locations. The next 19 additions will be: Alexandria (Scotland), Banbury, Biggleswade, Blaydon, Catterick Garrison, Cookstown (Northern Ireland), Garforth, Greenock, Holmfirth, Limavady (Northern Ireland), Maltby, Oxted, Penicuik (Scotland), Tring, Waltham Cross, Warminster, Warwick, Winterbourne, and Ystrad Mynach (Wales).

The news is exciting but of course the advanced service is only available to a small number of people, and even for them in a very limited area. However, EE’s announcement is set to have an catalysing effect on the other big operators to step up their CA strategies to launch faster speeds.

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