EE signs up two million 4G customers in the UK - double its target

By James Richardson on 7 Jan 2014 04:42 am EST

It would appear that the UK mobile consumer is loving 4G, according to the latest statement from EE. The network - who was first to introduce LTE to the UK had a target of signing up one million subscribers in 2013 and it only took ten months to get to that goal. During the following four months a further one million folk joined EE which goes to prove two things:

Firstly, faster data speeds are quite clearly very much sought after. And secondly - that consumers are willing to pay a little more for that privilege. As all BlackBerry 10 devices are 4G enabled it's likely that a percentage of the two million are rocking a BlackBerry. 

With Vodafone and O2 now offering LTE, although in very limited locations in comparison to EE - and with Three planning a roll out shortly, I can't wait for 4G to be the norm. Did you get a BlackBerry 10 smartphone from EE and was it a decision based on data speeds? Sound off in the comments. 

You can catch all the details below:

Press Release

7th January 2014 – EE, the UK’s most advanced digital communications company, today announced that two million customers have now signed up to 4G services from EE, doubling the company target of one million customers by the end of 2013. The phenomenal 4G sign-up rate is the fastest in the world outside of South Korea*.

Since the launch of 4G from EE in October 2012, rapid adoption has been driven by the widespread availability of the service, which now reaches 160 towns and cities, as well as the introduction of more affordable pricing and innovative plans, such as Shared and pay as you go. 4G coverage will exceed 70% of the UK population in January.

The 4G network is one of the fastest in the world, with double speed 4G (with average speeds of 24-30Mbps) now available in 20 cities across the UK. Independent recognition continues to be received both regionally and nationally, including being ranked the UK's best overall network by RootMetrics®.

Olaf Swantee, CEO, EE, says: “Our 4G launch in October 2012 marked a new era for mobile users, allowing consumers and businesses to do much more on the move.

“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. 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.”

Business and 4G

Adoption in business continues to grow significantly, with over 4000 corporates and three quarters of all new and upgrading SMEs now choosing 4G. A wide range of organisations including Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Canon, Expedia, Foxtons, IKEA, Jewson, Kimberly-Clark, London Air Ambulance, Microsoft, PA News, The Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead, RAC, Renault, Tate & Lyle and United Utilities switched over to superfast speeds in 2013.

 Data continues to grow, voice remains key

Average data use across the EE network grew by 70% over the course of 2013, with social media and video driving the biggest increases.

Looking specifically at the 4G network, posting pictures and messages to Facebook was the most popular way to bring in the New Year, followed by Skype, Instagram, and Twitter.  Facebook data traffic doubled at midnight on the 31st December and messaging service WhatsApp saw a seven fold increase as people sent group messages and shared images to bring in the New Year. 

Voice usage also continues to grow, with a 25% increase in voice calls over the EE network in 2013. EE is investing £275 million in its voice network this year, and pledges to set a new benchmark for voice quality and reliability.

Reader comments

EE signs up two million 4G customers in the UK - double its target


By who? I got the Z10 on EE in February, obviously 4G wa only beginning so they wanted me to pay a fortune for it, but now I get a better deal than anyone to pay a premium, and im almost always on 4G, coverage is amazing..

TechCraze C0008DDD1 :)

How much is your contract if I may ask?

I pay £33 and I get everything unlimited....I mean EVERYTHING.

Yeh by whom and worst at what? Worst at still not offering a 4G service in the UK at all? That would be 3

At work I enjoy EE 4G with 1GB of data a month for £10.50 a month for each of the BlackBerry 10 phones I manage as a BES admin. I absolutely can not complain about the service, it is first class and the most highly available 4G service in the country.

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Read post above.

I have no issues with 3. HSPA+ works brilliantly for me and once 3 enable they're 4G service, no customer has to pay extra. Win win situation.

Agreed, shockingly bad data on 3G (non-existant in most places), constantly dropped calls in London or people unable to contact me

No 4g where I live so was using an Orange 3g sim in my Z10. Got a call a couple months ago and they upgraded me to 4G for free, they even threw in a bit more data for free also.

"As all BlackBerry 10 devices are 4G enabled it's likely that a percentage of the two million are rocking a BlackBerry"... as if, only BlackBerry devices are 4G enabled devices nowadays and dominating the 4G's market...

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He said a "percentage"... don't see anywhere that he inferred anything more than that, and it's a pretty logical assumption.

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Have had no data on EE in my home town now for a month, have emailed Mr Swansea twice, no reply forthcoming, but wouldn't expect anything less!

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"Facebook was the most popular way to bring in the New Year, followed by Skype, Instagram, and Twitter.  Facebook data traffic doubled at midnight on the 31st December and messaging service WhatsApp saw a seven fold increase as people sent group messages and shared images to bring in the New Year."

BBM didn't warrant a mention unfortunately :'(

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I live in NYC but I was just in the UK for 2 weeks. I roamed on EE on 4G with my BlackBerry Z10 and had virtually no problems. Other times it switched to Vodafone and O2. I traveled to many different cities. So for the poster who said you can't get 4G in most of the UK, he or she doesn't know what the hell they're talking about.

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Took my Z10 on launch day on Orange. Got a free upgrade to EE in July with more data, unlimited calls and text for less money. Only downside was loosing Deezer being subsidized. Use 4G in big cities and love it. 3G pretty much everywhere else.

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To be fair Mr Met11, most of the UK is not covered by 4G yet. But most of the country is fields, hills and mountains so that's hardly surprising.

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It would be interesting if EE actually published a break down of the the various handsets using 4G in the UK. I wonder what percentage Blackberry 10 would have?

I got my Z10 on Orange but was then upgraded to EE. H+ is actually enough for me and I'd rather the network just concentrated on having that everywhere before they added another patchy upgrade. Too often I go down to 3G.

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Most of these 'new' customers are people who have upgraded on Orange and T-Mobile and been pushed to take a new EE contract

The only reason I'm on EE is that 3g data is so poor I wanted 4G so I can actually use data in London

It's awesome to see a different approach being successful! Well done EE!

C0038297E Quote of the Day (BBM Channel)

Yes, I moved from Orange UK (subsidiary of EE) to EE itself, to get the 4G connection. This also meant that I could ditch my old 3G Dongle... The new contract has worked out cheaper than the two previous ones (3G 3,000 minutes and a Dongle) as I never breach my 5Gb data limit (though have come close) and I now have unlimited UK standard calls and texts (as well as keeping my free home broadband). I paid a little more to only be tied to a 12 month contract. Coverage is already surprisingly good, and I get a good 4G signal in all the UK cities I visit for work. And they threw in a Q10 too.....

I'll stick with virgin 3g unlimited everything 15 per month 30 day sim only. It'll be years before we see 4g in my area. Still on 5 mb broadband speeds. Can barely steam video on wifi in the house.

Steve / Boanerges Performance

4g is so over rated. 3g is fast enough for 99% of everything. 4g only good for big downloads, and who has data plans that big? I have 6 gigs and that is used fast doing downloads.

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This is just embarrassing for UK, weren't they on 3G before the US even heard of it? I remember my cousins talking bout 3G before the smartphone boom. And they're just getting on 4G? So when will 4G LTE be the norm?
One thing too, UK cellphone users must not be heavy data users. 1gb of data? How long that last, 2 weeks? Lol
Cellphone service may seem cheap but currency conversion makes it expensive for them packages they offering, I'm just saying

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I don't know a lot of people with data caps in the UK...i only recently found out that a few people I know are on EE.

The data that they're offering at the prices are just stupid and 1gb of data is a waste of time lol. Unlimited data is a must for me and my friends.

Three are offering it at no extra cost and there HSPA+ is lighting anyway so will be amazing for them to beat that cause at the moment I can literally download a 10mb song in around 2 seconds

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I doubt many of these were a new Blackberry sale. They still do not stock the Z30 and the only one they currently have on their website it is the Q5.. The Z10 and Q10 have not been on there for a while.

3G would be nice. In fact any signal at all at work would be nice for me, don't even have GPRS most of the day.

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BlackBerry users will be a very small number of EE's new customers, I just upgraded from T-Mobile to an EE 4G plan getting a Q10, my data speeds are 22MB download, 5MB upload...that's faster than most people's broadband. I'm on a business line paying £41 +vat per month, unlimited calls/texts, 6GB data plus 180 minutes to call Europe and USA and when I travel to Europe and USA I've got free incoming and outgoing calls.

Last year they signed up customers under false pretences telling them how much data they will or won't need especially those with BlackBerry devices, I was told a whole load of crap about my data usage and when I said BlackBerry's compress data on BIS plans so my historical usage was no bearing on what my future usage would be they didn't have a clue what I was on about.

Since t-mobile merged with orange the reception in my area has been worse, there was a brief period where you could opt-in to roam on Orange's network, that was when it went pear shaped, they messed up reception for a lot of people and were ill equipped to handle the 4G they were promising.

As with all mobile technologies the early adopters are the guinea pigs, when Three launched 3G it was abysmal, I had their 1st handset on a friends and family free trial for 6 months, it was the worse I've ever seen a mobile work and my 1st mobile was a Motorola 8500 brick. We were guinea pigs so I didn't expect anything great, it was free.

EE will improve, I'm on a business contract specifically because I wanted a separate customer services when I call them up, not the same people all the kids and students deal with.

Bottom line is you shouldn't choose a network based solely on what they're offering unless you've tested that network in your home and work locations, they all have weaknesses, I still know people who can't get certain networks unless they put their head out the kitchen window.

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