EE: LTE service attracting big companies as early adopters

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Early adopters of LTE mobile broadband technology include some of the largest organisations in the UK, according to operator EE.

Swantee

The company, which gained a head start on its rivals by launching LTE in October, said in a statement it has already signed or is piloting LTE with firms such as Microsoft, Sony Music, TNT Post and the supermarket giant Morrisons.

The operator referenced construction firm Kier as a company testing LTE to reduce the set-up time for remote construction sites and to enable its design teams to work on-site. Once the trial is complete, EE said Kier will look to deploy LTE across its sites as an alternative to traditional fixed connections.

 "To see UK businesses already benefitting from LTE after such a short time is great news," EE CEO Olaf Swantee said. "Demand from small, medium, large and public sector organisations across the nation has been very positive since we launched 4GEE."

The company also announced that it plans to provide LTE coverage to more than 65 UK towns and cities by June 2013--representing more than half the UK population. Swantee said that the roll out of LTE across the UK was staying ahead of the schedule that was set when the service was first announced.

However, Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao told reporters on a conference call for the company's quarterly results that his company is not yet seeing any big shift triggered by EE's LTE offer.

Separately, Swantee has defended EE's decision to charge a premium for LTE, and said the company would continue to charge subscribers £5 per month extra for the service. He said this additional amount was justified given the customer receives a mobile broadband service that is five times faster than 3G service.

"We will maintain network differentiation with our pricing strategy, which we developed with a couple of principles in mind," he said, according to Mobile Today. "It is a pricing model which allows customers to stay within their allowances."

While declining to provide figures on how many LTE subscribers the operator has signed up, Swantee said that EE is on track with its business model. "In 2013 EE is going to keep one step ahead, perhaps several steps ahead, and we are going to keep surprising the market," he said.

For more:
- see this EE statement
- see this Mobile Todayicle
- see this Mobile News article

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