The United Kingdom is a little late to 4G — just a few months ago, 4G networks didn’t exist. Now it has one, EE, which is quickly trying to expand its 4G coverage across the country. It began its rollout in 11 major cities, and the company has announced today that it will be reaching an additional 17 by March 2013.
During the first quarter of next year, EE plans to bring 4G to Bradford, Chelmsford, Coventry, Doncaster, Dudley, Leicester, Luton, Newport, Reading, Rotherham, St Albans, Sunderland, Sutton Coldfield, Walsall, Watford, West Bromwich, and Wolverhampton — expanding its reach to approximately 4 million people.
Last week, EE activated its 4G network in Derby, Newcastle, and Nottingham; while Belfast, Hull, Maidenhead, and Slough will be switched on by the end of 2012. That will bring EE’s total 4G coverage to 18 cities by the end of 2012 — that’s two more than the 16 it planned to reach in its initial rollout schedule.
“By the end of the first quarter of 2013, 4G will be available in 35 towns and cities across the UK, making superfast mobile accessible to thousands more customers and businesses every day,” said EE CEO Olaf Swantee.
“We’re delighted with the progress of the 4G rollout – we are improving the network every day, delivering superfast mobile to more and more people right across metropolitan areas, whether they’re using their devices outdoors or in their homes and offices. This has struck a chord with businesses in particular, with great demand being seen.”
EE’s 4G network is approximately five times faster than 3G, and it currently offers customers a wide range of popular 4G-capable smartphones and tablets, including Apple’s iPhone 5 and iPad mini, Samsung’s Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II, HTC’s One XL, and Nokia’s Lumia 920.
For those who cannot access 4G yet, you’ll be pleased to hear EE is also working to improve its 3G network. It plans to significantly increase speeds by upgrading to DC-HSPA by the end of 2012, which promises the fastest available 3G in the U.K.