Everything Everywhere has turned to European Investment Bank (EIB) to borrow £350 million for infrastructure development. The operator plans to increase the height of its masts in rural areas, which will increase mobile coverage. Several-meters higher towers are a necessity if the operator wants to spread 4G mobile coverage to the countryside. Currently, an average EE mast is 15 meters high but the provider wants to double that as a general rule says “the higher towers are the better mobile coverage they provide” , especially when considering low-frequency spectrum. Obviously, EE can’t enlarge all of its masts if not because of the cost then because of planning regulations and local community opposition.
In addition, some of the EIB money will be spent on underground cables and replacement of old 2G antennae that are quite common in Orange network. This whole investment is targeted on updating the network to provide 4G mobile coverage to all parts of the UK. Should the loan go through, EE wants to start the network upgrade as soon as they win some spectrum during the upcoming Ofcom’s auction.