EE: We're on track to hit 1M LTE users in 2013

EE, the UK's first provider of high-speed LTE services, said it is well on track to exceeding its target of 1 million LTE users by the end of this year after adoption doubled in the second quarter compared with the previous five months. The operator said it now has a total of 687,000 LTE subscribers.

The operator, which also owns the Orange and T-Mobile brands in the UK, said an increase in postpaid customers by 216,000 also enabled it to post its highest ever margins since the company was first formed in 2010.

Analysts at Espirito Santo told Reuters that the half-year results showed the cost savings promised at the formation of the EE joint venture in 2010 were finally coming through.

EE also said it has extended its LTE network to 10 more towns across the UK, and now covers 95 towns and cities across the country. The operator's plan to also offer double-speed LTE is also continuing, and it said it offers speeds up to 60 Mbps and average speeds of 24-30 Mbps are now available in 15 towns and cities.

Here is a breakdown of EE's results:

"It has been a busy summer with the launch of next generation services including Cash on Tap and new Shared 4GEE plans, and we're continuing to keep up the pace of our 4G rollout," CEO Olaf Swantee said in a statement.

EE said its network now covers nearly 60 per cent of the population, and it is on track to reach 98 per cent coverage by 2014.

EE's service revenue fell by 4.4 per cent in the second quarter, but the company said this was due to cuts in roaming charges and mobile termination rates.

Demand for mobile data services is rising in the UK, and driving up sales of high-end smartphones and tablets. Carphone Warehouse also reported good quarterly results as a consequence of this, saying that strong interest in postpaid contracts drove up total connections by 6 per cent, or 8.1 per cent including the company's operations in France, in the first quarter to June 29, 2013. Sale on a like-for-like basis increased by 10.6 per cent.

For more:
- see this EE release
- see this separate EE release
- see this Reuters article
- see this FT article (sub. req.)

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