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EE plans to invest £1.5bn in 4G mobile coverage expansion

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EE reveals a 3-year long plan  that leads to 99% mobile coverage

EE reveals a 3-year long plan that leads to 99% mobile coverage

EE CEO Olaf Swantee announced that his company plans to spend £1.5bn on their network modernization until 2017 in order to extend their mobile coverage.

The 4G operator impressed everyone by announcing a considerable investment package which goal is to bring 4G mobile coverage to everyone in the UK. This plan is part of a bigger strategy known as “Signalling the Future” which main purpose is to face the challenges of digital needs in the UK by greatly increasing mobile coverage especially in rural areas. The £1.5bn investment spread over next three years has two main goals: providing 4G mobile coverage to 99% of the population and covering 90% of the UK territory.

In order to reach the expected results EE will focus on implementing Micro Network technology in the countryside, using low frequency spectrum in that areas and introducing WiFi Calling and 4G Voice. In terms of the first point, EE wants to roll out small devices that can be mounted on buildings and will support current mast network. The projected effect of deploying Micro Network is mobile coverage in around 1,500 communities that do not have reliable and fast broadband. The second concept involves using 800Mhz spectrum in rural areas as it covers large distances and is ideal for 4G. Moreover, this low frequency spectrum will allow EE to provide mobile coverage in current black spots without significant expansion of the infrastructure. Finally, the 4G operator wants to allow customers to use 4G network to carry voice traffic (currently it is only used for data) and launch a service that enables making phone calls when there is a Wi-Fi connection in range, even if there is no mobile coverage.

These bold plans are put into motion as EE wants to secure its position of the largest 4G network and build solid foundations for the technologies of the future like 5G.

Written by adm

March 3rd, 2015 at 9:39 pm

EE’s network downtime caused customer outrage

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EE customers learned that network reliability is as important as mobile coverage. network downtime

EE customers learned that network reliability is as important as mobile coverage

Data centre breakdown left thousands of EE customers without connection last Thursday morning.

Last Thursday (Jan 22), many people that use EE SIM cards found themselves in a rather peculiar situation. Even though they should have mobile signal as they were within EE’s mobile coverage, it turned out that they can’t make calls, send texts or surf the Internet. Puzzled customers quickly went online and questioned EE via Twitter. The mobile provider quickly responded saying that from around 8 till roughly 9:30 am they had experienced some issues with their data centre in Luton, which made anyone that was routed through it to have problems with connection or mobile coverage. EE reported that all the users should have been okay by 10 am and if somebody can’t get a signal while within the mobile coverage, they should switch to the Airplane Mode for a second to restore the connection.

network downtime

Followers of social media registered that during the downtime, there were up to three times as many mentions of EE than usual but it went back to the usual number soon after the data centre in Luton was fixed. After a closer look at Twitter, we may see that some customers were experiencing connection problems throughout the whole Thursday, and there were even some posts like that on Friday, but it is not clear whether they had anything to do with the Luton event.

Events like that show that even though British network and 4G mobile coverage are constantly being developed, there are situations when a small issue in one data centre may affect thousands around the country. Obviously, downtime and system failures cannot be prevented in all the cases but mobile operators should remember that expanding mobile coverage is not all and the reliability of the network is as much important.

Written by adm

January 30th, 2015 at 1:37 pm

Vodafone’s 4G mobile coverage available to half of Brits

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What's more important content or speed?  4g mobile

What’s more important content or speed? 4g mobile coverage

Slow expansion of 4G mobile network is not seen as a problem in Vodafone as they believe that content and reliability are the key.

Vodafone’s CEO, Jeroen Hoencamp informed that his network can provide 4G mobile services to roughly 50 percent of the British society. This is not a great achievement as all other 4G operators reached that milestone last year and they are their 4G customer base is much higher. Mr Hoencamp sees it differently. In his blog, he said that the roll out speed is not as important as the winning factors are network reliability and the content rather than providing the best speed possible.

Vodafone’s CEO has also said that for his company what is important is to have strong network and expand mobile coverage gradually. Vodafone’s low frequency spectrum is also much better for providing good indoor mobile coverage which for Vodafone may be the competitive advantage. Hoencamp emphasized his argument by showing that Vodafone doesn’t focus on providing the highest speeds possible like EE but on giving people meaningful content like their deal with Sky Sports on Spotify that’s include in some contract variants.  He also adds that “people tend to take technology for granted, so we need to make it seamless and easy for people to use, and worry free, so that they can forget about it”. This explains that Vodafone’s approach is either to provide consistent mobile coverage across each particular area or not provide it at all.

To sum up, Hoencamp believes that people don’t really care what 4G is but they want to see how 4G can make their mobile phone experience better and how it will benefit them in a deeper sense not just by giving them faster download speed.

Written by adm

January 20th, 2015 at 9:38 pm

Vodafone’s 4G roaming to be available in 40 countries

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4G roaming at Vodafone now available in 40 countries

4G roaming at Vodafone now available in 40 countries

Vodafone plans to add another 17 countries to its 4G roaming mobile coverage by the end of this year.

Thanks to Vodafone’s Europe Zone and World Traveller deals, the customers may use their standard contract allowance when travelling outside the UK. It comes with a daily fee of £3 for Europe and £5 for the rest of the world. The deal is limited to a specific number of countries in which Vodafone has signed appropriate deals for 4G mobile coverage.

Now Vodafone announced that in time for Christmas and New Year, it will extend its deals to 17 new countries which means that customers will be able to use their British allowance in 40 foreign countries. New destinations that will offer 4G mobile coverage for Vodafone consumers are: Antigua and Barbuda, Cayman Islands, Croatia, Fiji, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

Apart from the possibility to use contract minutes, texts and data bundles abroad, Vodafone contract customers will not be charged for receiving texts or calls and they will pay the Europe Zone or World Traveller deals only for the days they use mobiles abroad.

Vodafone’s timing is not a coincidence as roughly four million Brits go abroad during the Christmas and New Year period, so some of them might actually benefit from new countries being included in the Europe Zone and World Traveller deals still in 2014.

Written by adm

December 24th, 2014 at 1:01 pm

Superfast roaming in 23 countries at Vodafone

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Are you going to use 4G abroad? Superfast roaming

Are you going to use 4G abroad?

Vodafone extends its 4G roaming to next 19 destinations around the world

On October 14, Vodafone announced that they decided to expand their superfast 4G roaming service to new countries around the globe. If you recall, Vodafone introduced 4G roaming in four European countries: Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain in May. To support huge data usage overseas, Vodafone also launched two services earlier this year. They are EuroTraveller and WorldTraveller. Both of them allow Vodafone customers to use their UK allowance and tariff while being abroad for a fixed daily fee. For Europe, that fee is £3, while for the WorldTraveller, it is £5. It should be noted that “world” is limited to 9 countries: Australia, Egypt, Ghana, India, New Zealand, Qatar, South Africa, USA and Brazil. The last one is available to the end of this month.

The rules for both EuroTraveller and WorldTraveller state that you will be charged on the days you use your phone and for the purpose of this deal a day starts at midnight and finishes at 23:59 local time. This means that if you start using roaming at 10 p.m on one day and finish at 1 a.m. the next day, you will be charged for 2 days of usage. Additionally, WorldTraveller is limited to contract customers, however, you can use EuroTraveller with PAYG SIM cards. In fact, EuroTraveller is even better deal for pay as you go customers because it also comes with 100MB free data.

Now Vodafone enlarges its 4G roaming capabilities to 19 new countries: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Romania, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan and USA. Unfortunately, it only includes 3 countries that are covered by WorldTraveller, but still it is better than nothing.

Having 4G mobile coverage in more countries is definitely a strong advantage for Vodafone as customers will not have to slow down when they fly abroad and will still be able to use the Internet at high speeds. This shows how important development of new network is important for operators and their customers. Vodafone promises that it is not the end and they will keep adding more 4G destinations in the future.



Written by adm

October 24th, 2014 at 12:03 pm

EE’s 4G mobile coverage

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Three out of four Brits now have access to EE's 4G service. Are you one of them? mobile coverage

Three out of four Brits now have access to EE’s 4G service. Are you one of them?

Few days ago new towns were added to EE’s 4G network letting them to cross the threshold of 75% population mobile coverage.

EE is quickly expanding their 4G mobile coverage in the country. In April they had 200 towns and cities covered by their 4G network. Last month we reported on their 250th switched-on town. Now they are enlarging it again by adding 13 new towns to the list. These are Buckingham, Burntwood, Chesham, Chesterfield, Glossop, Hertford, Rugeley, Sheerness, Thornaby-on-Tees, Ware, Wickford, Witney in England and Dalkeith in Scotland.

David Cameron was delighted to hear that his hometown Witney has 4G mobile coverage now and he commented on this event by saying that new state-of-the-art technology is an additional advantage for local business as well as makes it a more attractive land.

Constant expansion of their infrastructure keeps EE in the front line in terms of 4G mobile coverage. There is no doubt that if the operator does not slow down it will be the first one to provide 4G services to more than 90% of population.  We are all happy to see 4G mobile coverage available in more and more places around the country and this nationwide rollout is speeding up as operators execute their 4G implementation strategies.

Written by adm

September 8th, 2014 at 9:02 am

EE has twice as many 4G customers than in January

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Can EE continue expanding so fast in second half of the year?

Can EE continue expanding so fast in second half of the year?

Results from first half of 2014 showed that EE doubled their 4G base greatly due to surge in contract customers in Q2.

Olaf Swantee, CEO of EE, has a good reason to celebrate as customer number of the first 4G operator has skyrocketed this year. Its customer base increased from almost 2m at the end of last year to 4.2m at the end of June, 2014. Additionally, the mobile provider scored all time European record by attracting 1.3m customers in just one quarter.  A closer look shows that EE’s strategy is to increase postpay customer base as it now accounts for almost 60% of all 4G customers, whereas there is a visible outflow of PAYG SIM card users. This might be a result of more attractive 4G PAYG tariffs available at their competition.

From the connections point of view, the 4G mobile provider registered a small decline year-to-year, which is the result of a fall of 12.5% revenue from PAYG SIM cards. This was somehow counteracted by a growth of 4.7% from postpay customers.  All in all, EE boasts having 30.8m connections in Q2.

It should be noted that while the company is growing its costs are not falling rapidly down as the operator saw a fractional drop (1.3%) in operating revenues but still earning almost £3,000m.

Olaf Swantee commented on the results after six months saying “Today’s results demonstrate that consumers and businesses are responding to our strategy to provide the UK’s biggest, fastest and most reliable network. We are delivering on our goals to rapidly transition our pay monthly customer base to 4G”

EE’s target is to reach a 4G customer base of 6m by the end of current year and with their current mobile coverage and double speeds on offer is very likely to happen. Now it is time to see how the competition will respond to this success, but whatever they will do it most likely will benefit consumers no matter whether they prefer PAYG SIM cards or PAYM SIM cards.

Written by adm

August 6th, 2014 at 9:22 pm

EE reaches a new 4G mobile milestone

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EE has switched on its 200th city services on April 1

EE has switched on its 200th city

The 4G operator, EE, has 200 towns and cities switched on and its 4G mobile coverage can now be accessed by 72 percent of the UK’s population.

This new 4G mobile coverage milestone of 200 locations was obtained on April, 25. On that date, another 13 cities were switched on with the Welsh Rhyl becoming the 200th one on EE’s list. The 12 other locations apart from Rhyl are Armdale, Bishop Auckland, Brighouse, Cumbernauld, Hamilton Kirkintilloch, Larne, Newry, Peterlee, Staines, Stockton-on-Tees and Washington.  In general, EE’s 4G rollout has been implemented at amazing speed as it began 18 months ago and now the operator boasts having over 2 million customers. In terms of technology adoption, 4G seems to be appealing to Brits as at no time before had any technology been taken up so quickly.

Without a doubt, EE has right now the most extensive 4G mobile coverage in the country, but their competition is not giving up yet. The fastest 4G mobile coverage development can be seen at O2 as the company claims to have covered 191 towns and cities, but other sources show that only 1/3 of the population have access to O2’s 4G services. Vodafone is the third in the race to bring 4G mobile coverage all over the country and its last update from February claimed that their 4G network is available to around 36 percent of the nation.  The last contender is Three UK and this operator is the slowest in its upgrade of network infrastructure as only 36 towns and cities have been switched on so far.

Brits are taking on 4G technology and operators are happily trying to accommodate them by improving their mobile coverage and getting more people on board with 4G. We hope that the mobile coverage expansion will go along with more competitive 4G deals and wider choice of 4G PAYG SIM cards.

Written by adm

April 30th, 2014 at 3:47 pm

Lycamobile launches 4G in UK

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Lycamobile launches 4G services on April 1

Lycamobile launches 4G services on April 1

Since April 1, Lycamobile has joined the growing club of operators with 4G services on offer and it kicked off with an unlimited data tariff.

Lycamobile has launched its 4G services on April 1, 2014. It became yet another 4G MVNO provider with Tesco and giffgaff already having it on offer. As Lycamobile piggybacks on O2 network their 4G mobile coverage currently includes 160 towns and 16 cities which total population is over 19 million potential customers.  The 4G mobile coverage is not too bad considering that O2 has been developing its 4G network for around 6 months now.

Lycamobile wanted to celebrate its 4G launch by providing a special offer available just during April. This special 4G tariff is 500 minutes plus all-you-can-eat 4G data and text messages for just £12 per month. It is a very attractive and highly competitive deal that should be taken into consideration. Hopefully, it will be extended to following months.

New customers will just have to order a new Lycamobile PAYG SIM card to take advantage of the offer. However if you are a customer you only have to activate it by sending a “11244” text to 3535. There is no need to change your existing Lycamobile pay as you go SIM card as they are all 4G compatible. What you need to do is to enable 4G in your smartphones’ settings menu and start enjoying 4G speeds.    

Written by adm

April 9th, 2014 at 11:39 am

EE extends 4G mobile

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EE goes live with 4G in 12 new towns

EE goes live with 4G in 12 new towns

The first 4G mobile operator is expanding its capacity by adding another 12 towns to its 4G map

We can see that EE is moving forward with their network which is growing its 4G mobile coverage at a steady pace. On March 28, another group of towns from England, Northern Ireland and Wales was switched on and can now take advantage of 4G speeds. EE is not only focusing on setting up new transmitters in towns across the country, but it also wants to bolster their 4G mobile coverage on key commuter routes. Apart from announcing new towns that are switched on, EE representatives said that 4G mobile coverage was also improved on roads between Glasgow and Edinburgh, as well as Cardiff and Swansea.

This announcement means at as of today there are 187 towns and cities where EE provides 4G mobile coverage. New towns where 4G is live now are Antrim, Coleraine and Newtownabbey in Northern Ireland; Bridgend and Pontypool in Wales; Livingstone in Scotland; and Burnley, Leigh, Macclesfield, Nuneaton, Sittingbourne and Tamworth in England.

Olaf Swantee of EE commented on this development saying: ‘Our 4G rollout is continuing at an industry-leading pace, reaching more and more people in places right across the UK. We’re connecting major towns to make sure that consumers, commuters and businesses have 4G where they live and where they work. As well as expanding our 4G network into new areas, our teams are switching on new 4G sites in our existing 4G cities and towns to make the EE network experience even better.’

Written by adm

April 1st, 2014 at 10:52 am