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EE set to roll out faster LTE-A '4.5G' mobile broadband in London

Chris Martin | March 7, 2014
EE will double its 4G speeds to 300Mbps in London with the roll out of LTE-A.

EE has confirmed that it will bring even faster 4G mobile broadband speeds to London this summer.

Speaking at last week's Mobile World Congress, EE's CEO, Olaf Swantee, said that the firm plans to double the speed of its 4G network to 300Mbps. Using its large amount of spectrum, the network will upgrade to LTE-A, also known as LTE-Advanced or 4.5G. See also: What is 4G? A complete guide to 4G.

Talking about LTE-A, Swantee said: "We're working with Huawei on that. It's really exciting actually. We will have a 300mbps in London." adding "First we will have the city centre covered, London south circular. That will probably be by the end of the summer."

Following the rollout in the south of London, EE will work on covering the entire city, inside of the M25, with the faster LTE-A 4G. See also: Tesco Mobile makes 4G mobile broadband free for customers.

All this sounds great but do you have a smartphone with supports LTE-A? The answer is likely to be no but it is a feature which should become more common over time.

As well as talking about faster 4G, Swantee commented on how voice is still an important part of its network. "Network differentiation is not possible without voice, do not treat voice as a commodity," he said, adding that Voice over LTE is not huge deal for the firm because it uses the same spectrum for 4G and 2G - meaning a fall back time of just 2 seconds.

Instead, EE will focus on improving voice in rural areas which it says is important in the long run. It is deploying the 800Mhz spectrum is these areas where Voice over LTE "may play a more important role".


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