4G in the UK: EE's network woes continue

4G in the UK: EE's network woes continue

Summary: Some customers looking to get a jump-start on super-fast 4G LTE download speeds have found themselves stranded without mobile phone reception for up to eight days following ongoing technical issues at EE.


Some customers on the UK's first national 4G LTE network, run by EE, are continuing to suffer connection and signal problems, leaving them unable to use their phones for texting, calling or data services.

Two weeks after the launch of the service on 30 October, EE conceded that customers migrating to its network from Orange or T-Mobile, as well as some new customers, were having trouble getting up and running on 4G due to "teething problems", compounded by the wrong SIM cards being sent out to some customers.

However, exactly two weeks later and 4G customers on EE's community pages are still complaining of no service for days on end; some also announced their intention to leave the network as soon as possible.

One of the issues affecting customers is the correct activation of SIM cards, necessary to receive a network signal.

"My SIM Card is still not activated and it's been almost a week... Each time I called they say my phone has been activated already and they will need a contact number to call me so they can advise me on my case. I have not had a single phone call and I keep getting the same response. I'm about to return my phone and [I'm] cancelling my contract as I'm bored with being fobbed off," a user by the name of 'mhumphries42' wrote on the EE support pages on Monday.

"So far my colleagues have been asking about my experiences with 4G and EE, and naturally my responses have not been favourable," mhumphries42 added.


A number of other EE customers took to Twitter to air their grievances at their experiences as customers of the network.

"Everything Everywhere, more like nothing nowhere. Really is poor reception to match poor customer service #EEfail. Sorry will not renew," Twitter user Jimmy Bob White, wrote on Saturday.

"Everything Everywhere, more like nothing nowhere" — Jimmy Bob White

Other customers were not completely cut off, but were restricted to only using certain services due to problems with EE's processes.

"Limited to only making calls on @ee because they are having problems registering new contracts on to systems. #EEFail," 'DCBoyce' wrote.

EE told ZDNet the problems are due to "isolated issues" that are being remedied, but did not say exactly where where the technical issues lie.

"As with all large-scale technology services, there are a number of different factors than can affect coverage. Our engineers are currently working on a small number of isolated technical issues at particular base stations to ensure all customers get the best possible service," an EE spokeswoman said in an email.

The company was quick to note that its 3G network (run under the Orange and T-Mobile brands) has not been affected by the introduction of 4G, even though some customers have reported a slow down in 3G service since the new network was introduced.

"We would like to make clear that our 3G network is unaffected by the launch of 4G," the company's spokeswoman said

Topics: Networking, 4G, Mobility, Telcos, United Kingdom

Ben Woods

About Ben Woods

With several years' experience covering everything in the world of telecoms and mobility, Ben's your man if it involves a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or any other piece of tech small enough to carry around with you.

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  • All Front And No Substance

    Orange/EE/T-Mobile or whatever they call themselves have gone down the toilet. Marketing BS, adverts, articles in the media, blah blah. They're happy to waste money on that but not on providing real customer service, technical support or tested infrastructure that provides the stuff they advertise.
    Anyway, who in their right mind would sign up to 4G at this stage? Posers and people with more money than sense. People like that do not deserve any sympathy.
    The really sad thing is that all this 4G crap means exiting 3G customers are also suffering.
    • Good and Bad..

      Migration from Orange was a mess. After about 6 hours on the phone to the support team (at least UK based, and able to get back to a particular person) I was live on EE 4 days later than planned. A colleague moving from 02 was live in 30 minutes, so the service is very unpredictable.
      Since going live the service has been great, in 3G only areas, far better speed than before, in 4G areas, faster than 3G, but not always full 4G. Price plans include all calls and texts so my monthly fee now much reduced, its not just for the "Posers etc", you need to think about it a little, and work out what it means to you.
  • EE is a NIGHTMARE!

    I have been battling with EE for past 6 weeks (yes 6 whole weeks!) to get my iphone 4 unlocked and pay off my contract which I have an additional 3 months on from a contract upgrade in 2005 - what a joke! I'm now living in Dubai and wanted to unlock my iphone and move to pay as you go and keep my number - so far not that complicated?!
    I've been on the phone to Orange 6 times at vast expense, been transferred to 6 incompetent staff with every call and they still haven't managed to send me the unlocking code for my iphone 6 weeks later! I had to pay for the pleasure of unlocking my iphone... They also wont' call me back on a local number but insist on keeping me on hold for up to 8 mins at a time when I'm the one calling internationally! On top of everything I've just got my new PAYG sim courriered out here (it took 4 weeks to arrive in the UK) and have just discovered they've sent me a non-smart phone sim card so I can't even use it!
    On top of this I'm being stung for huge mobile phone bills through out this time... I sent 6 emails to customer services that were all unanswered. In the end I found an email for the CEO office online and got a generic response 4 days later - every time I reply I get a generic response!
    I'm beside myself with frustration...
    the only lesson learnt is NEVER sign up to Orange / Everythign Everywhere!
    Nancy Duncan