EE today switched on its superfast 4G network in London’s Tech City, promising to deliver speeds of 300Mbps to mobile devices.
The operator first announced the network in November 2013 at the Huawei Global Mobile Broadband Forum, as it continued its hardware partnership with Huawei for routers. However, it chose the three-year anniversary of the Tech City organisation to go live.
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“By pioneering 4G innovation in the UK, we want to help British businesses switch on and start up,” said Olaf Swantee, CEO of EE. “That’s why we’ve partnered with Tech City to deliver superfast services to some of the UK’s brightest new companies.”
Tech City and EE have been partners since May with a joint goal of supporting small companies across the East London technology hub. As part of the deal, EE promised to debut any new network innovations in the east London locale and offer bespoke packages for Tech City accredited businesses, giving them discounts on their line rental, mobile broadband and accessories.
“I am delighted to be welcoming EE as one of Tech City’s key partners,” said Joanna Shields, CEO of Tech City. “We have been working together over the last few months, developing a series of initiatives that will drive real benefit to small businesses in this thriving technology hub.”
“Game-changing investments, such as EE’s 300Mbps network, will catalyse the next wave of innovation and creativity in digital, creative and technology businesses. It will allow them to connect to new markets around the world and supports the growth of our brightest and best businesses.”
One of the first businesses to get on board with the souped-up network is Boxpark pop-up mall in Shoreditch. Each of the independent retailers will gain access to the speedier connections from early in 2014 and will be able to offer the service to their customers.
A full commercial roll-out of the faster 4G will happen throughout 2014, connecting up more technology hubs throughout the country.
“These nationwide tech clusters have seen the emergence of like-minded, future-thinking businesses that have been built fusing technology and creativity to become the employers and growth engines of the future,” added Swantee. “We’re looking forward to playing a part in supporting their success.”
Prime Minister David Cameron visited Tech City today to celebrate its third birthday and promised to replicate its activities across the UK.
“The world of business is changing rapidly and one of the most promising opportunities for new jobs and growth lies in a new wave of high growth, highly innovative digital businesses,” he said. “This is why, as part of our plan to help Britain succeed, we established Tech City UK to support the creation of a technology cluster in east London and committed to help these businesses to become cornerstones of our economy.
“But this is not just about London. We are determined to build a rebalanced economy across the country and get behind the entrepreneurs imagining a new tomorrow in the dozens of technology clusters, accelerators and start-up incubators across Britain.”
Tech City also used its anniversary to launch its latest annual report, which claimed 27% of job growth in London over the past year had come from the technology and digital sector. Read more on the report here.