EE to double 4G download speeds to 80Mbps in 10 cities

The UK is "uniquely mobile" says EE, which plans to double the download speeds for its 4G LTE customers in 10 UK cities before the end of the summer.

EE is planning to double the download speeds for its 4G LTE customers in 10 UK cities as it continues its nationwide rollout of the high-speed data service.

The company said it will double the speeds in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Sheffield to offer headline download speeds of up to 80Mbps.

Overall, the network aims to deliver an average download speed of 20Mbps in the 10 chosen cities before the end of the summer.

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The speed doubling exercise will run alongside the extension of the service to new towns and cities. Since its launch towards the end of 2012, EE has maintained that it will offer 98 percent population its 4G service by the end of 2014. It's currently just over half way there, with 4G LTE available in more than 50 UK towns and cities.

Olaf Swantee, chief executive of EE, said as a result of its network expansion and speed increases, EE is aiming to have one million UK customers by the end of 2013. He added that the network already has more than 1,000 business account holders on its books and that its 4G customer base is growing 10 percent week-on-week.

Underpinning the increase and expansion, EE is doubling the amount of spectrum it uses in the 1800MHz band for its 4G network, from 10MHz to 20MHz, which will give provide more bandwidth for users of the service.

Swantee said extra capacity and faster download speeds were necessary for its customers as the UK is "uniquely mobile", spending an average of around 15 hours per week online. EE's estimates see data usage increasing more than 750 percent in the coming three years, he added.

The extra capacity and throughput will allow for things like streaming HD video, multi-tasking, HD photo upload, uploading music, photos and videos to cloud storage and making peer-to-peer video and voice calling.

In order to deliver the higher speeds, EE is physically upgrading the core network infrastructure to improve reliability and performance.