EE will expand its 4G wireless broadband network across an additional 17 UK towns and cities by March 2013, the UK's first 4G network has confirmed.
The first few weeks of the new year will see the EE 4G service switched on in Bradford, Chelmsford, Coventry, Doncaster, Dudley, Leicester, Luton, Newport, Reading, Rotherham, St Albans, Sunderland, Sutton Coldfield, Walsall, Watford, West Bromwich and Wolverhampton.
The mobile operator says it will invest in launch sites for 4G in additional metropolitan areas. It is also investing in increasing its existing network density, so that users can get super-fast data speeds and also remain connected in highly populated areas.
The 4G service recently went live in Derby, Newcastle and Nottingham. It is also due to roll out to Belfast, Hull, Maidenhead and Slough before the end of December, bringing the 2012 launch total to 18 cities, which is two locations ahead of schedule.
By the end of the first quarter of 2013, EE 4G will be available in 35 towns and cities throughout the UK. The service started in ten areas on 30 October: London, Birmingham, Cardiff, Bristol, Edinburgh, Leeds, Sheffield, Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow.
EE (which is formed from a joint venture between T-Mobile and Orange) is also planning to upgrade its 3G infrastructure so that fast (up to 42Mbps) DC-HSPA coverage reaches 40 per cent of the network.
EE is currently the UK’s sole 4G provider. Other operators, who will bid in an Ofcom spectrum auction, are expected to launch rival services in the second quarter of 2013.