EE hails "high value" focus as 318,000 sign up for 4G in five months

UK mobile network operator EE says it is on track to meet forecasts of one million 4G customers by the end of 2013.

The LTE service provider revealed it has welcomed some 318,000 users to its 4G data plans in the first five months of operation and seemed in a generally bullish mood as it announced its Q1 2013 results.

"Today's results are in-line with our expectations, and we are making good progress focusing on high value segments. We're announcing 318,000 4G customers after just five months of trading, strong postpaid net adds and continued growth in our underlying average revenue per user," commented Neal Milsom, CFO of EE.

"We expect to strengthen our industry leadership position in the year ahead as the 4G roll out continues and we introduce double-speed 4GEE," he added.

EE enjoyed a head-start to the UK's 4G rollout race, as it was able to utilise existing frequencies to provide LTE mobile access to customers ahead of rival providers.

However, the operator has faced criticism from some quarters for the high cost of its 4G price plans and reluctance to introduce unlimited data packages, and all eyes are no doubt watching how the UK's high-speed mobile broadband sector evolves in the weeks and months to come - rival networks Vodafone, Three, and O2 are set to introduce services in the near future following successful bids at Ofcom's recent 4G spectrum auction.

For its part, EE is maintaining considerable optimism going forward, pointing to its industry-leading 36 per cent market share of UK mobile spectrum. According to chief executive Olaf Swantree, the firm expects to surpass the 400,000 subscriber mark in the "next couple of days" and will continue to develop its enterprise portfolio.

"It's not only consumers. It's really Britain's businesses that are waking up to the benefits of 4G," he commented in an earnings call with financial analysts.

Formerly called Everything Everywhere, EE is a joint venture between France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom and operates the Orange and T-Mobile brands.

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