As rival LTE networks sputter to life, it's full steam ahead for EE.
The UK's Everything Everywhere has had the 4G LTE market all to itself for almost a year. As such, while the likes of Vodafone and O2 are celebrating the roll out of LTE in one area (or three, in the case of O2), EE is arriving at much more impressive milestones. The company this week announced that Accrington, just north of Manchester, is the 100th town to get EE 4G LTE coverage.
"Our 4G network is just ten months old and we're delighted to have reached the 100 milestone so quickly. With Accrington named as our 100th 4G town we wanted to take this opportunity to have some fun celebrating the fantastic efforts of our network team," said Steven Day, Chief of Brand and Communications, EE. "We’re all about connecting people and football legend Ian Rush is intrinsically connected to Accrington thanks to the 1980s Milk Board ad which can be still be enjoyed today online and streamed without any annoying buffering on your mobile thanks to 4G!"
EE launched its 4G LTE network in October of last year after UK watchdog Ofcom green-lighted a proposal to repurpose existing 3G spectrum for 4G LTE service. This meant that EE was able to launch its service well ahead of rival carriers O2, Vodafone, and Three, who were all left waiting for Ofcom's spectrum auction so they could acquire the necessary additional spectrum to offer 4G service.
Vodafone and O2 announced their intention to offer 4G service earlier this summer. The former is launching only in London first and plans to roll out service in Birmingham, Bradford, Coventry, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Nottingham, and Sheffield before the end of the year. O2's launch is a bit more aggressive. The company will serve five million people right off the bat thanks to simultaneous roll-outs in London, Leeds and Bradford, and hopes to make it to 13 cities by the end of the year. Both carriers launched their LTE service on August 29. Three will launch its service in December and has promised free 4G to customers with 4G-ready devices.