Residents in 17 more UK towns and cities will soon have the option of signing up for EE's 4G LTE service from March 2013.
In addition to extending its 4G network coverage to new areas, EE — the amalgam of the Orange and the T-Mobile brands in the UK — said it is also upgrading its 3G network to DC-HSPA, resulting in faster speeds for non-4G customers, including those on the T-Mobile and Orange networks.
"As well as investing in bringing superfast mobile to new areas around the UK, network density is being rapidly increased in existing 4G launch cities to continue to improve the speed and reach of the UK's first 4G network," EE said in a statement on Thursday.
A full list of the new towns and cities to get 4G service can be found here.
As well as beefing up coverage and speeds, EE said it has upgraded the density of the mobile sites to improve coverage. It has also upgraded the backhaul to improve the reliability and performance of the network.
The company has been criticised for the low data limits on some of its 4G contracts which, in theory, could see one month's 500MB allowance (the lowest tariff, at £36 per month with a handset) used in around six minutes.
at the end of October got off to a rocky start with due to a combination of problems. Two weeks later, the network conceded that the problems were still persisting.
EE said 4G provides roughly five times the download speed of 3G networks. In ZDNet hands-on testing, we have observed download speeds on the network of between 5Mbps and 20Mbps. However, David Salem, director of network strategy for the company, previously told ZDNet that the service aims to deliver a constant 8Mbps to 12Mbps downstream to its 4G customers - around the same speeds that can be expected from a well-honed 3G DC-HSPA network.
The 17 new towns and cities to be included in EE's 4G network coverage by March 2013 are:
- St Albans
- Sutton Coldfield
- West Bromwich