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EE names 17 more 4G towns and cities

Jennifer Scott

EE has announced 17 further towns and cities it will be bringing 4G to in the New Year.

The new locations to get access to the faster mobile network will be Bradford, Chelmsford, Coventry, Doncaster, Dudley, Leicester, Luton, Newport, Reading, Rotherham, St Albans, Sunderland, Sutton Coldfield, Walsall, Watford, West Bromwich and Wolverhampton.

The roll-out will occur over the first few months of 2013, but EE promised the network would be deployed by March at the latest.

EE also announced it was boosting its existing connections with the addition of more masts, helping increase the 4G coverage area in the cities where it has already introduced the network.

Derby, Newcastle and Nottingham were the latest locations added to the network last week and EE claims Belfast, Hull, Maidenhead and Slough will be turned on by the end of the year, bringing the total number of 4G cities up to 18 by the end of 2012.

To cope with the extra capacity and increased speeds, EE confirmed it is revamping its network backhaul, rolling out Gigabit Ethernet connections from masts to base stations, enabling faster connectivity and a more reliable back-end.

The final strand to EE’s announcement was an increase in speeds of its existing 3G network. The operator is upgrading from HSPA+ to the faster DC-HSPA standard and has said the conversion will be live across 40% of its network by 2012.

“We’re delighted with the progress of the 4G roll-out,” said Olaf Swantee, CEO of EE. “We are improving the network every day, delivering superfast mobile to more and more people right across metropolitan areas, whether they’re using their devices outdoors or in their homes and offices.

“This has struck a chord with businesses in particular, with great demand being seen. We’re delighted to already be powering large, medium and small businesses with 4G.”

EE is still the only mobile operator offering 4G after Ofcom allowed it to repurpose its existing spectrum for the faster connectivity. 

Its rivals are expected to launch their own deals in May next year following Ofcom's spectrum auction for additional frequencies. Initial bidding for the spectrum bands closed earlier this week


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