EE, currently the target of former UK incumbent BT, said it now has 7.7 million subscribers on its LTE (or 4G) network, representing an increase of 5.7 million users in the past 12 months.
The latest figures further reinforce the company's leading position on the UK LTE mobile market, with rivals still far behind in terms of subscriber numbers: Three UK reported more than 3 million LTE users in December last year, for example.
EE, which is currently jointly owned by Deutsche Telekom and Orange Group, also said it extended LTE coverage to 350 more cities and towns in 2014, with more than 200 locations added in the fourth quarter. That brings to 510 the total number of UK towns and cities (with populations of 10,000 people and above) covered by EE's LTE network.
The company is also expanding its coverage in rural areas: EE said it added more than 1,000 villages and small towns in the last few months of 2014, taking the total to 3,894 locations. Population coverage now stands at more than 80 per cent; the company is targeting 98 per cent population coverage by the end of 2015.
In terms of network usage, EE said six times more LTE data was uploaded and downloaded by customers in 2014 than in 2013. Main drivers of traffic included customers sharing "selfies" and videos on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and streaming video from the likes of BBC iPlayer, YouTube and Sky Go.
The operator is also introducing LTE Advanced in London and other high-density areas this year to enable it to support new users and rising data traffic volumes.
Meanwhile the company's future ownership is still not fully resolved: BT entered into exclusive negotiations with Orange and Deutsche Telekom regarding the sale of EE in December. The period of exclusivity is due to last several weeks.
The purchase price of £12.5 billion (€16 billion/$18.9 billion) would be split equally between Orange and Deutsche Telekom.
- see this EE release
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