UK cellco EE must find half a million subscribers in the next six months to achieve its goal of signing up a million users to its 4G network.
The operator yesterday revealed that by end May it had signed up 500,000 subscribers to its 4G network, which it launched on refarmed 1800-MHz spectrum on October 30. While the timeframe suggests hitting the million in six months is doable, EE faces tougher conditions as its rivals launch 4G services in the back half of the year.
EE is banking on a new range of tariffs to keep the customers flowing. It is launching plans that allow users to share 4G access over a number of devices, and pay as you go. The firm is also doubling its network’s bandwidth to 20-MHz in ten UK cities, which will lift peak data rates to 80-Mbps in those markets.
Chief executive, Olaf Swantee, says the firm will also deploy its network in “the busiest airports, commuter routes and shopping centres across the UK,” to tap,” and that the new tariffs are evidence of its innovative approach to 4G. He also revealed penetration now stands at 55%, and targeted 98% coverage by end 2014.
EE’s subscriber figures may quell concerns over uptake of 4G in the UK, raised after a lackluster spectrum auction in February. The operator claims take up is the fastest in Europe, and its aim to sign up a million users by the year end would put it on par with the entire 4G user base of France at that time.