EE reaches 7.7 million 4G customers as network expansion continues

Elvanfoot in South Lanarkshire, the smallest place connected by EE. Image from the Elvanfoot Residents Association.
  • From 2 million to 7.7 million 4G customers in 12 months, EE sets record in Europe for 4G growth
  • 4G from EE arrives in 210 more towns, taking total to 510 UK towns and cities and almost 4,000 villages
  • Record mobile data usage in 2014, with Australian Tim Cahill’s World Cup goal driving peak in downloading, and New Year’s Eve seeing the year’s spike for mobile uploading

Thursday 8th January, 2015 – EE, the UK’s largest mobile operator, added a record 5.7million customers to the 4G network in 2014, with 1.7 million in the last two months alone. This beats the 6 million year-end target, and means EE has added more 4G customers than any other operator in Europe. 

In addition to this significant customer growth, EE continued to drive record network expansion across the year, as well as introduce more accessible 4GEE plans, including the launch of £1 pay as you go packs, and introduce high-spec but low-cost 4G devices such as the EE Kestrel. Many new 4G customers have upgraded from Orange and T-Mobile plans to get the extra benefit of the country’s fastest 4G network.

4G rollout continues

In 2014 EE added 350 more cities and towns, with more than 200 added in Q4 alone, bringing the total to 510 covered UK towns and cities with populations of 10,000 and above. 4G from EE now covers more than 80% of the population and is on target to reach 98% by the end of 2015. Towns recently switched on include: Hastings, Worthing, Worcester, Scunthorpe, Crewe, Rugby, Bognor Regis, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Bangor and Llandudno.

With an increasing focus on more rural areas, EE also added more than 1,000 villages and small towns in the last few months of 2014, taking the total to 3,894 villages and small towns covered, many of which now have access to superfast broadband for the first time. The smallest connected place is Elvanfoot, a village of 52 residents in South Lanarkshire.

Big 4G data growth in 2014

Six times more 4G data was uploaded and downloaded by customers in 2014 than in 2013. Traffic was driven by customers sharing selfies and videos on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and streaming video from the likes of BBC iPlayer, YouTube and Sky Go.

EE doubled available capacity across the entire 4G network in 2014, and is introducing 4G+ in London and the UK’s busiest areas this year to support more users and maintain industry leading 4G speeds.

East London’s Tech City area boasted the three busiest 4G mobile sites in 2014: Silicon Roundabout, Hoxton and Shoreditch High Street.

2014 – a year of 4G peaks

2014 was a year of peaks on the 4G network, with major sporting, musical and social media events driving the most usage.

H1

·         25th March: The Manchester derby (Manchester United vs Manchester City) at Old Trafford sees the most users connected to a single site at any one time in 2014

·         18th June: The minutes after Tim Cahill’s stunning goal against the Netherlands at 5.21pm see the busiest time for the mobile network during 2014 as EE customers swarm online to watch replays and access social media while at work

·         25th – 29th June: The Glastonbury Festival becomes the most connected festival in UK history, with EE’s bespoke 4G network enabling visitors to download 2.5 Terabytes (TBs) of data, the equivalent of around 650,000 Dolly Parton songs

H2

·         July-August: The ‘ice bucket challenge’ helps drive the most sustained impact on uplink network traffic as millions upload footage of themselves getting cold and wet

·         28th September: At Wembley Stadium, the EE stadium-wide 4G network carries the most traffic at a sporting event during the NFL game between Oakland Raiders and Miami Dolphins

·         28th November: Black Friday drives mobile shopping spike, with a 25% increase in data usage seen on the EE network

·         31st December: The very end of 2014 sees the peak in uplink network traffic as millions of mobile users across the country share celebratory pictures on social media and wish Happy New Year to friends on WhatsApp

- Ends -

Notes to editors:                           

For more information and access to spokespeople, please contact the EE press team:

ee@nelsonbostock.com

0845 373 7070

About EE

EE is the largest and most advanced digital communications company in Britain, delivering mobile and fixed communications services to consumers, businesses, government and the wholesale market. EE has approximately 15,000 employees and 580 retail stores, and serves more than 30 million customers across its mobile, fixed and wholesale businesses.

EE runs the UK's biggest and fastest mobile network, pioneering the UK's first superfast 4G mobile service in October 2012. EE's 4G coverage today reaches more than 80% of the UK population. EE’s 2G coverage reaches 99% of the population while 3G reaches 98%. EE's superfast fibre broadband service covers 54% of the UK population, and ADSL broadband service covers 98.7% of the population.

In the last few years, EE has received extensive independent recognition including being ranked the UK's best overall network by RootMetrics®, Best network at the 2014 Mobile News Awards, Fastest Network at the 2013 uSwitch Awards, Best Network at the 2014 Mobile Choice Consumer Awards and What Mobile Awards 2013, Network Innovation at the 2013 Recombu awards and Best Network for Business at the 2013 Mobile Industry awards.

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For more information, please contact the EE press team on:

ee@nelsonbostock.com

0845 373 7070