EE today pledged £275m for improving the quality of the calls on its network during 2014.
The mobile operator, which admitted to being focused more on the roll-out of its 4G services of late, claimed it was time to return to “the most traditional part of its business” and improve reliability and voice quality.
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“While we consistently outperform on the standard UK benchmark for voice call quality and reliability, I don’t believe the benchmark is right,” said Olaf Swantee, CEO of EE.
“I think the UK mobile industry can do better, and we intend to improve the experience for our customers, taking our quality and reliability to levels to those achieved by other operators across Europe.”
The money is coming from an already confirmed pot of £1.5bn to revamp its entire network in the coming years, but Swantee said over a third of this would be specifically focused on voice.
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The first £275m will be used over the next 12 months to upgrade over 5,000 2G sites, increase capacity of 5,500 of its existing 3G sites and to trial future call services using 4G networks and voice over Wi-Fi.
“For the majority of our customers, being able to make a phone call when they need to is still the vital aspect of the mobile experience,” added Swantee. “Innovative, high-speed data services receive most of the attention in the mobile industry. However, we carried more voice calls on our network than ever before this year, and we know that call reliability is essential for our customers.”
“That’s why we plan to invest £275m in our voice-call service in 2014 as we strive to set new standards in call quality and reliability.”
The news comes the same day as Ofcom launched its quarterly report into complaints about telecoms companies. EE topped the list as the most complained about broadband provider, while T-Mobile and Orange – the two companies that formed the EE joint venture – were the most complained about mobile operators.