EE, the UK’s largest cellco by subscribers, has reportedly launched commercial LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) services in the capital, London. Initially the upgraded network will be available in ‘large parts’ of central London, including Shoreditch, Old Street, Southbank, Soho, Westminster and Kensington. Looking ahead, however, the operator has said it aims to extend coverage to Greater London by June 2015, while it will subsequently deploy what it is marketing as ‘4G+’ to the country’s ‘busiest’ cities, such as Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, back in November 2013 EE announced the switch-on of an LTE-A network in a limited part of London. With EE saying at the time that its new infrastructure had a theoretical maximum speed of 300Mbps, it said the increased rate had been enabled by carrier aggregation, with the bringing together of 20MHz of 1800MHz spectrum and 20MHz of 2.6GHz spectrum.
Meanwhile, as part of the LTE-A announcement, EE was also said to have confirmed that its standard LTE network is now available in 300 towns and cities, providing coverage to more than 75% of the population, while its ‘Double Speed’ service is now available to 50% of the population, and will be rolled out in 20 additional towns by the end of the year. In addition, the cellco has also confirmed that its LTE subscriber base has now topped six million, surpassing its end of year target.