EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Olaf Swantee, CEO of the UK’s number-one operator EE, said the company plans to offer LTE-Advanced services in central London by the end of the summer.
In an exclusive interview with Mobile World Live, Swantee said the technology will enable theoretical peak speeds of 300Mb/s, and will later rollout everywhere within the M25 motorway.
“That effectively means that customers will see yet another jump in the speed of LTE,” Swantee noted.
Swantee also talked up EE’s progress with 4G. “We have great coverage now,” he said, noting that 45 million people in more than 170 cities can now access EE’s LTE network.
The operator now has more than two million subscribers using its 4GEE services.
“We are very pleased with the 4G success in the UK. There is an appetite for faster speeds and better networks,” Swantee said.
Now that the other UK mobile operators are offering 4G services (EE was the first to offer LTE in October 2012), Swantee said EE will compete by rolling coverage out more quickly than its rivals and “constantly differentiate through speeds”.
EE’s spectrum holding means it can offer single and double-speed LTE, with up to 30 per cent of commercial transactions using the faster service. “Customers recognise that when they use video or TV, it does make a difference.”
Along with the data speeds, EE’s CEO noted that voice remains a key element in an operator’s armoury and the company recently outlined a £279 million investment plan to upgrade EE’s oldest network equipment to improve voice services.
“I have learned 4G is the key anchor point of differentiation and network differentiation is possible, but network differentiation is not possible without looking at voice. Do not treat voice as a commodity,” Swantee said.
Turning to voice-over-LTE (VoLTE), Olaf said that this is only really important for operators who use very different spectrum for voice and 4G.
However, he noted that rural areas may benefit from the use of VoLTE in the future as EE looks to improve coverage in these areas using spectrum in the 800MHz band.
You can see the full interview here.