EE has today pledged to significantly improve improve mobile reception for voice calls and bring 4G coverage to 99 percent of the population – including ‘not spots’ – by 2017.
It’s also said it will bring up to 60Mbps ‘double speed’ 4G within reach of the majority of the population, while 20 cities will get 4G+ and enjoy speeds of up to 150Mbps.
Announced today, the network’s ‘Signalling the Future’ report says the operator will spend up to £1.5 billion bringing 4G to 90 percent of the country as measured by geography, rather than population – thereby ensuring that a majority of the country has access to its services.
Part of that 90 percent pledge includes coverage of the UK road networks and busiest train routes, as well as towns and villages currently struggling to receive any reliable high speed fixed-line or mobile services. For the trickiest to reach rural areas, EE will be rolling out Micro Networks to achieve its goals more quickly than traditional full-scale mobile infrastructure could deliver.
EE, which will soon be owned by BT providing there are no competition objections from rivals, also said that it will start to roll out VoLTE (‘4G Voice’) “to enable phone calls over 4G data services to thousands of homes and businesses that have never been covered by EE before.”
It added that Wi-Fi Calling will be enabled for iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices too, thereby allowing you to route your calls or messages through your home (or office) broadband network. Both 4G Voice and Wi-Fi calling should arrive in “the next few months,” according to EE. It trialled the technologies last year.
Unsurprisingly for a company that has built itself on a high-speed mobile data network, it’s also now looking into 5G opportunities and joining the UK’s research efforts.