The UK mobile operator EE has passed the one million subscriber milestone on its 4G networks four months ahead of its Christmas target, the Financial Times reports. EE, which is jointly owned by Deutsche Telekom and Orange (formerly France Telecom), launched 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) services at the end of October 2012, and revealed in April this year that it hoped to have attracted a million LTE customers by Christmas. EE has capitalised on its head-start in the LTE market, with competitors Vodafone and O2 introducing the first rival 4G services two weeks ago. EE recently announced that it had live 4G networks in more than 100 cities across the UK, with over 60% of the population covered by its high speed services. Olaf Swantee, chief executive of EE, said the UK had seen one of the fastest adoption rates for 4G in the world.
Separately, UK supermarket chain Asda has decided to switch its own-brand mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) from Vodafone to EE’s network from next month. Asda Mobile has been working under a wholesale agreement with Vodafone since its launch in 2007, but is now moving to EE as part of a wider partnership between the two firms. EE is currently providing free Wi-Fi networks in Asda’s 568 UK stores, with more than half a million Asda customers having already registered for in-store access.