EE announces £1.5bn for network upgrade

Orange and T-Mobile customers are set to benefit from wider coverage as a result of the investment.

Everything Everywhere

Everything Everywhere (EE) today announced 1.5 billion of additional funding for its Network Evolution Programme, much of which will go on tighter integration of T-Mobile and Orange.

EE revealed it is just weeks away from opening up wider, combined 2G and 3G services from Orange and T-Mobile to its customers, meaning it will have the widest 3G coverage in the UK, the company claimed.

The money will be injected into the programme over the next three years and will see customer devices automatically selecting the stronger signal from either network if their own signal is weak.

Everything Everywhere is committed to building a world-class 4G network for Britain.

"With mobile data increasing 250 per cent over the past two years, we are making these investments so we can deliver on our ambition to provide the UK's most reliable, biggest and best mobile data network," said Olaf Swantee, CEO of EE.

Money will also be spent on ensuring EE is ready for the introduction of 4G signals into the UK. Heavy investment will go into upgrading its mobile backhaul to ensure data can travel quickly between different cell sites.

"Everything Everywhere is committed to building a world-class 4G network for Britain," said Fotis Karonis, chief technical officer of EE.

"We are devoting huge resources - including our 15,000 workforce and significant investments in technology - and already trialling, learning and laying the ground-work so that we are prepared to introduce 4G services as soon as it's feasible."

EE is one of the telecoms providers bickering over the UK's 4G auction. Earlier this year, the operator said it stood by its "recommendation that to ensure fairness, the auction is designed so that all operators not just Vodafone and O2 get access to sufficient low frequency spectrum."

O2 and Vodafone believe Everything Everywhere is getting preferential treatment, as they would not be guaranteed any 800MHz spectrum as others might.

The auction is currently due to go ahead by the end of 2012, although spectrum will not actually be available to consumers until 2013.

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