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EE bringing double-speed 4G to UK cities by 2017

EE has announced that double-speed 4G, along with 4G voice calls, will be available for the majority of the UK population by 2017.

The country’s largest mobile network operator announced the news as part of a £1.5 billion network investment plan to be implemented over the next three years.

Read more: EE claims top spot in mobile network report

The firm’s manifesto, dubbed “Signalling the Future (opens in new tab),” will look to further develop the UK’s digital infrastructure by bringing its 4G network to 99 per cent of the population and 90 per cent of the country’s geography.

EE CEO Olaf Swantee believes that the scheme demonstrates the firm’s continued commitment to improving communications in the UK.

“Today we’re announcing the next stage with a commitment to, once again, radically improve mobile coverage, this time with a strong focus on rural UK, all while continuing to increase speeds and capacity with deeper coverage in more cities,” he said.

EE became the first network to launch 4G LTE in the UK, and this experience helps it to claim impressive reliability figures of 99.6 per cent. It was announced earlier this month that the firm is being acquired by BT for £12.5 billion, but the buyout is unlikely to disrupt its network improvement plans.

Over the next three years, EE will bring data speeds of up to 60Mbps to 90 per cent of the UK and speeds of up to 150Mbps to 20 of the country’s busiest cities. It is also committed to using Micro Network Technology to bring mobile data to 1,500 communities that are currently unconnected.

The investment also includes plans to make the UK the global leader in 5G mobile technology.

“We’ve invested in 4G and taken the UK back to a position of leadership in mobile, and now we’re investing in 5G so that we can define the next step, and keep both us and the UK mobile industry one step ahead,” explained EE principal network architect Professor Andy Sutton.

Read more: BT confirms EE acquisition for £12.5 billion

EE will be hoping that the developments cement its position as the UK’s number one network, with a recent Ofcom report listing the company as the best for both calls and mobile data.

Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with IT Pro Portal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services.  After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.