EE reaches two million 4G customers as SME uptake increases

By Danny Palmer
07 Jan 2014 View Comments
Smartphone dispalying EE 4G logo

Mobile network provider EE has reached two million 4G customers in the UK, a figure the company says represents the highest uptake of the high-speed mobile internet outside of South Korea.

The two million customer mark represents a significant milestone for EE and its 4G service, with the firm's initial target for 2013 to reach one million customers having been passed in September. The rapid uptake of 4G means EE, the UK's largest mobile provider, has twice the number of customers it aimed to have at this time. It has only taken an additional four months to double the one million figure.

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Smaller businesses have been an area for growth, with EE claiming that three-quarters of new or upgrading SMEs are now choosing 4G. The company also states it has over 4,000 large corporate customers, including Microsoft, in addition to a number of organisations in the public sector.

A high profile advertising campaign starring Kevin Bacon has also likely played a part in attracting consumers to EE's 4G platform.

"We're incredibly proud of being the first UK operator to bring 4G to the UK and, in just over a year, exceeding our target by reaching two million 4G customers across the country," said Olaf Swantee, EE CEO.

"We continue to have particular success converting our existing base to 4G, with approximately two out of three new 4G customers moving over from Orange and T-Mobile plans.

"This year, our network priority is to deliver the benefits of superfast mobile internet to more of the UK and invent even more innovative ways for our customers to make the most of their 4G experience," he added, referencing figures that suggest a 70 per cent rise in data traffic on the network during 2013.

With two million 4G customers. EE is a long way ahead of rivals such as Vodafone and O2. However, much of that success comes due to the company being granted a head start to repurpose the existing mobile data spectrum in September 2012. It was only a year later in August 2013 when rival networks were able to begin rolling out 4G services.

And while the two million subscriber landmark is significant for EE, it represents less than 10 per cent of the overall mobile market in the UK, with the majority of customers sticking with 3G services, at least for now.

EE's 4G service was plagued by problems when it launched in late 2012, something that caused many disgruntled users to take to Computing's comments section to voice their dissatisfaction.

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