UK LTE MOBILE OPERATOR EE has announced that its 4G mobile internet service is now available across nine more areas in the UK, bringing the total number of towns and cities covered by the mobile technology to 37.
EE has switched on 4G in Barnsley, Chorley, Coventry, Newport, Preston, Rotherham, Telford, Walsall and Watford, and EE CEO Olaf Swantee said rollout continues to progress ahead of schedule.
EE claims its 4G service now covers the homes and businesses of more than 45 percent of the UK population.
"By summer 2013 the network will be in at least 72 towns and cities as well as much of the suburban and rural areas that surround them, reaching well over half of people in the UK," Swantee added.
However, whether the 4G mobile internet service, touted as five times faster than 3G, is going to be popular in these regions remains to be seen. One thing is for sure though, EE 4G is expensive, and its cost might not be warranted by the amount of use people get out of it.
Although remaining quiet about the number of people who have signed up to a 4G contract, EE's fourth quarter financial results suggest that it got off to a shaky start as the UK's first 4G network.
At the moment, EE is offering 4G data plans starting at £31 a month for a 500MB of data, all the way up to £61 a month for 20GB of data for "super users" on a 24 month plan. One thing that EE doesn't offer however, unlike many mobile providers in the US, is an unlimited 4G data package. However, during EE's announcement at MWC, Swantee said he believes this is excessive because at present the average 4G customer uses just 1.4GB of data per month.
"It shows that the instinct for unlimited data plans is unnecessary," he said, which we assume was a small dig at the recent winners of the UK 4G auction, in case they intend to offer such data plans. µ