EE has announced hitting 500,000 customers on its 4G network and plans to offer services on pay-as-you-go deals as the firm continues to make hay while rivals Vodafone and O2 limp towards a late summer switch on.
EE has set itself the target of hitting one million customers by the end of 2013 and confirmed at an event this morning attended by V3 that it is now halfway towards this target. The firm also announced a new business-focused offering around shared plans to let multiple devices access the 4G network.
Pay-as-you-go deals will also be available in the coming weeks, although no information on pricing was made public. As well as this, several high-profile firms are now using the network for business purposes, with Renault UK, Ikea and law firm Clifford Chance all confirmed as new corporate customers.
EE also announced that its plans to double the speed of the network in major cities will go live in “the coming weeks” with the Tech City area of London the first to receive the new speeds, before spreading out the City of London and then to the greater London area.
EE network integration director Mansoor Hanif said this would occur rapidly and that other locations set for the upgrade – such as Bristol, Cardiff, Leeds, Manchester and Sheffield – would come online shortly afterwards.
Test speeds from the network under trial conditions have proven impressive, with 51Mbps achieved for downloads and 23Mbps for uploads. The screenshot across shows the speeds, taken indoors. EE claims it will be even faster than this once optimised for launch.
“The upload speed is the highway to the cloud and we’re now at speeds that are better than bad fibre and as good as good fibre,” said Hanif.
As part of a wide-ranging announcement EE also confirmed that it is now pushing through rollouts of 4G network at major locations such as airports and shopping centres. Heathrow and Gatwick are now live, with more airports to come online soon.
The updates will no doubt pain rivals Vodafone and O2, which are yet to go live with their networks. Vodafone has confirmed a late summer switch on, most likely to coincide with the launch of the next iPhone, but this will have given EE a ten-month head start on 4G offerings.
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