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EE: Extra 4G network capacity will get the best out of new smartphones

Tuesday, September 6th 2016 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

EE has started adding extra capacity to its 4G network – a move it says will allow customers to get the best performance from the latest smartphones.

The company has already enabled the first stage its 4G+ network, which uses two blocks of mobile spectrum, in around 150 UK towns and cities.

The next stage is to enable access to a third block of spectrum at more than 500 mast sites by the end of next year.

The extra capacity created will allow new smartphones with Cat 9 capability – including the HTC M10, Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge and the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 – to achieve faster download speeds and will make the network itself less congested.

The HTC M10 has already recorded a real-world download speed of 360Mbps at the first place to benefit from the new high-capacity network – Wembley Stadium.

Other central London sites will be switched on this year, starting with east London’s Tech City.

Sites in Birmingham, Manchester and some of the UK’s other busiest cities will be activated throughout 2017.

EE’s chief executive Marc Allera said: “There’s no point having the latest smartphones on a network that can’t support the top speeds the device is capable of.

“We’ve invested in our network to ensure that all of our customers get the most out of the amazing smartphones they have, and can keep up with the highest speeds that the latest devices offer.

“With 4G+ now supporting Cat 9 devices, plus Wi-Fi Calling and 4G Calling, customers on EE will continue to get more from their new smartphone than on any other network in the UK.”

EE’s 4G network currently covers around two thirds of the UK’s landmass and should reach 95% coverage by 2020.

Last Friday, a number of customers reported problems getting online. The problem also affected customers of Virgin Mobile, which uses the EE network.

An EE spokesperson said the issue, which was caused by a power equipment failure at one of the company’s switch sites, only affected 2G and 3G data services in Powys, Herefordshire and Shropshire.

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