UK operator EE announced it is converting 3G airwaves to 4G on more than 500 mobile towers over the next six months, addressing customer demand for faster speeds while gearing up for a 5G launch planned for 2019.
The company said in a statement it is converting mobile spectrum carrying slow data and calls on 3G to 4G, which will deliver faster data speeds and a more reliable connection.
EE explained that the use of 2100MHz, currently employed for 3G, to power its 4G network will give the upgraded sites better coverage than any competing UK operator, with access to five carriers of 4G. The company said the latest smartphones can support connections to all five.
The sites being upgraded were described as hotspots in the network,
where there is greatest demand for mobile internet. These areas are
spread across ten UK cities including London, Manchester and Edinburgh.
EE also plans to switch on its 5G network in 2019, and it said next generation sites will be built on top of the upgraded towers, with the maximum amount of access to 4G spectrum in areas with highest demand.
Marc Allera, CEO of BTs consumer business, said it was using an investment made nearly 15 years ago in 3G to improve coverage for customers and “build on our foundation for 5G in 2019”.
EE revealed 3G usage on its network is reducing rapidly, with
customers now making more calls on 4G than its predecessor for the first time.