EE to provide 95% landmass 4G coverage by 2020
Written by: Sam Fenwick | Published:

As part of a new strategy, EE has set itself the objective of expanding the geographical reach of its 4G network in the UK from the 60 per cent seen today to 95 per cent by 2020. This would increase the proportion of the UK’s population covered by the network from 95 per cent to 99.8 per cent. As part of this objective, EE will build more than 750 new sites.

EE has today (25 April) switched on 4G mobile services in Shetland and the Isles of Scilly, enabled by the fibre broadband links deployed by BT. EE is also rolling out 4G calling (VoLTE) across the UK. The service is already live in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Belfast, Leeds and Newcastle, and will be switched on across the rest of the network by July.

In a press release, EE stated that policy reform will be necessary to building and painting such a widespread mobile network, such as: ensuring that proposed changes to the Electronic Communications Code support operators’ coverage ambitions; that all parts of the UK build on the recent positive announcements on planning changes for England; and that industry, Government and Ofcom work together to improve network operators’ financial incentives to invest. EE will continue to consult the Government and Ofcom on these issues.

The company has also announced that it will bring 600 customer roles on-shore, so that all EE customer calls will be answered in the UK and Ireland by the end of this year. EE claims that its onshoring programme has already created more than 1,400 jobs in these two countries since 2014 and cut complaints by 50 per cent.

“For the average smartphone user, not-spots aren’t tolerated and 2G doesn’t deliver what they need,” said Marc Allera, EE’s CEO (pictured above). “Customers want 4G speeds everywhere they go, and mobile operators are too used to saying ‘no’ to new coverage. Today, I’m saying ‘yes’, with an ambition to go further than any operator has ever gone, and with the ultimate aim of covering the whole UK with 4G.

“We’re bringing 100 per cent of our EE customer service calls back to the UK and Ireland. We’ve already seen a major boost in customer satisfaction by creating 1,400 new service jobs here since 2014. Now we’re creating 600 additional jobs to handle all EE customer service calls in the UK and Ireland by the end of this year, providing the best possible experience for our customers.”

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