EE lights up nine more UK towns and cities with 4G

EE's UK 4G rollout passes the half way mark, with nine more towns and cities joining the super-fast network.

The UK's 4G LTE frontrunner EE has extended its network to nine more cities and towns, passing the halfway mark in its current plan to cover 72 towns and cities and reach 50 percent of the population by the end of summer.

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Since launching four months ago, EE has rolled out its 4G network to 37 towns and cities, which as of Thursday include Barnsley, Chorley, Coventry, Newport, Preston, Rotherham, Telford, Walsall and Watford.

The network provider plans to cover 98 percent of the population by the end of 2014 and expects to reach 50 percent June, delivering estimated mobile speeds of between 8 to 12 Mbps.

"We're committed to making the UK's first 4G service available to as many people, as quickly as possible," Olaf Swantee, EE chief executive, said in a statement.

EE began rolling out its 4G ahead of the UK's auction for 4G LTE-designated portions of the 1800MHz and 2.6GHz frequencies, which finally kicked off in January this year.

EE bid for a slice of the spectrum alongside Hutchinson 3G UK (Three), Telefonica UK (O2), and Vodafone, as well as BT subsidiary called Niche Spectrum Ventures, HKT UK (a subsidiary of Hong Kong telco PCCW), and MLL Telecom. 

The next 35 towns on EE's schedule to be completed by June are Aldershot, Ashford, Basildon, Basingstoke, Blackpool, Bradford, Bracknell, Camberley, Colchester, Crawley, Doncaster, Dudley, Farnborough, Guildford, Horsham, Huddersfield, Leatherhead, Leicester, Luton, Maidstone, Milton Keynes, Oldham, Oxford, Reading, Redhill, Reigate, Sevenoaks, St Albans, Stevenage, Tonbridge, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Warrington, West Bromwich, Wigan and Woking.

The company said it is also building additional 4G towers in existing locations to boost the network's capacity.