Skip to main content

EE CEO doubts Vodafone, O2 and Three can keep up

EE CEO Olaf Swantee doubts Vodafone, O2 and Three will be able to cope with 4G demand as the lack of spectrum will limits its competitors’ success.

Swantee, speaking at Huawei’s Mobile Broadband Forum in London, cited EE’s larger percentage of spectrum as the reason why EE will be able to succeed where its rivals will fail.

"Other operators won't be able to cope with demand in years to come. We have 36 per cent of the spectrum in the UK, which is absolutely essential to delivering these kind of speeds and capacities,” Swantee said, according to The Inquirer.

EE owns spectrum space on both the 800MHz and 2.6GHz bands and has become the first UK mobile operator to start offering services on the faster band when it launched its faster 300Mbps 4G network in London’s Tech City earlier today. The plan is for the network to become available to consumers by the middle of next year with Swantee adding that it’s working with device manufacturers to make sure future handsets can handle the higher speeds.

"We need to be ready for that next wave of growth, and we need to stay one step ahead. Today we are moving into the next age of 4G," Swantee said.

The consumer roll out will start off in the capital with Swantee admitting that EE is hoping to have LTE Advanced connectivity available across the entirety of Central London by the end of 2014.

"We will have LTE-A rolled out in London in 2014. We will have Central London covered in the initial stage, and we will be using fixed routers to ensure customers get those 300Mbps speeds," Swantee added.

EE became the first UK mobile operator to start offering 4G access in 2012 and is hoping to cover 99 per cent of the UK by 2014, with Vodafone and O2 both launching networks at the end of August and Three planning to debut 4G services before the close of 2013.