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EE claims one in four new business customers opt for 4G

19 Feb 2013
Smartphone dispalying EE 4G logo

Mobile operator EE has claimed that one in four new SMB customers are choosing 4G services from the firm to take advantage of its superfast network, in its annual financial statement for 2012.

The firm also said 10 percent of its existing corporate customer base are trailing 4G services, including Gatwick Airport, Microsoft, Morrisons, and Sony Music.

However, the firm again refused to divulge any specific customer numbers in either business or consumer markets.

Overall, EE added 201,000 new contract customers in the fourth quarter of 2012, many of which are likely to be 4G users.

The firm also confirmed it will have 65 cities hooked up to 4G services by June 2013, the time rivals Vodafone, O2 and Three are likely to begin offering similar services.

"In the past year, we delivered solid financial performance, underpinned by good progress integrating the business and success in attracting high value customers," said Olaf Swantee, chief executive of EE.

"At the same time, we built a strong platform for growth, launching a new company, new network, new customer brand, new retail estate and being the first to provide UK consumers and businesses with 4G mobile services alongside fibre broadband."

Steven Hartley, principal analyst at Ovum said that on one level it was not surprising that the firm was still holding back numbers on customers as it was likely still trying to raise market awareness of the proposition.

"The lack of LTE customer numbers is unsurprising. The official line is so as not to impact the on-going spectrum auction. However, experience suggests that phrases such as "solid early 4G momentum" cover all manner of sins," he said.

"If customer uptake was far ahead of expectation, then we would hear about it. We therefore have to conclude that uptake has not been spectacular. That doesn't make it a disaster, just not necessarily fully optimising its monopoly position."

Rivals networks are set to come online once bidding for the new spectrum holdings at 800MHz and 2.6GHz are completed, likely to occur around March.

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Dan Worth

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

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