EE CEO Olaf Swantee announced that his company plans to spend £1.5bn on their network modernization until 2017 in order to extend their mobile coverage.
The 4G operator impressed everyone by announcing a considerable investment package which goal is to bring 4G mobile coverage to everyone in the UK. This plan is part of a bigger strategy known as “Signalling the Future” which main purpose is to face the challenges of digital needs in the UK by greatly increasing mobile coverage especially in rural areas. The £1.5bn investment spread over next three years has two main goals: providing 4G mobile coverage to 99% of the population and covering 90% of the UK territory.
In order to reach the expected results EE will focus on implementing Micro Network technology in the countryside, using low frequency spectrum in that areas and introducing WiFi Calling and 4G Voice. In terms of the first point, EE wants to roll out small devices that can be mounted on buildings and will support current mast network. The projected effect of deploying Micro Network is mobile coverage in around 1,500 communities that do not have reliable and fast broadband. The second concept involves using 800Mhz spectrum in rural areas as it covers large distances and is ideal for 4G. Moreover, this low frequency spectrum will allow EE to provide mobile coverage in current black spots without significant expansion of the infrastructure. Finally, the 4G operator wants to allow customers to use 4G network to carry voice traffic (currently it is only used for data) and launch a service that enables making phone calls when there is a Wi-Fi connection in range, even if there is no mobile coverage.
These bold plans are put into motion as EE wants to secure its position of the largest 4G network and build solid foundations for the technologies of the future like 5G.