EE added 5.7 million 4G customers in 2014

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EE added 5.7 million 4G customers in 2014, which it boasts makes it the largest 4G network in Europe.

This 5.7 million figure includes 1.7 million added in the last two months of 2014, and takes EE’s 4G customer base to 7.7 million, beating its year-end target of six million.

In comparison, Three, which automatically migrated its customer base to 4G at no cost, has 3.1 million people using the service.

The last time O2 and Vodafone released their figures, they had three million and 1.4 million respectively.

EE’s lead is credited to a speedy rollout. The company brought 4G connectivity to 350 more cities and towns in 2014, more than 200 in the fourth quarter alone.

Towns recently switched on include Hastings, Worthing, Worcester, Scunthorpe, Crewe, Rugby, Bognor Regis, Stratford-upon-Avon, Bangor and Llandudno.

The firm now has 510 connected towns and cities under its belt, or 80 percent of the population, and said that 3,894 villages and small towns, areas with a population of fewer than 1,000, can now connect to its 4G network.

EE is now aiming to have 98 percent of the population covered by the end of 2015.

The impressive figures perhaps reveal why BT agreed to splash out £12.5m on acquiring EE in a deal announced in December.

The transaction has yet to be finalised, but Imran Choudhary, senior analyst at Kantar Worldpanel, believes it would be a good move for BT.

“BT already has an agreement with EE to use part of its network, so buying the whole network would provide a strong platform for BT to lead the telecoms sector in the UK,” he said.

Choudhary added that consumers should see benefits as others follow BT’s lead with quad-play offers.

“Moving into the mobile market is a must for BT to defend its premium services which are increasingly threatened as other players enhance their triple- and quad-play offerings,” he said.

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