EE refarming 2G spectrum to boost 4G speeds

12 Sep 2017

British mobile network operator EE is upgrading more of its base stations to utilise spectrum previously used for 2G services, with a view to increasing the downlink speeds available to consumers. At present, EE’s fastest mobile sites offer service via 20MHz of 1800MHz spectrum and 35MHz of 2.6GHz spectrum. Now, it intends to refarm an additional 10MHz in the 1800MHz band from 2G to 4G, saying the move will ‘further increase speeds and reliability’. In a press release the cellco confirmed it expects to upgrade more than 600 sites across cities including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh and Cardiff over the next six months, with these expected to be able to offer maximum downlink speeds of up to 600Mbps once work is complete. In addition, EE noted that more than 1,000 of its sites will support speeds of 400Mbps, with upload speeds set to double from 50Mbps to 100Mbps at more than 900 sites across the country. Meanwhile, the cellco noted that it has also invested in 4×4 MIMO, while adding that it is rolling out 256QAM technology, to improve spectrum efficiency.

Commenting on the matter, EE chief executive Marc Allera said: ‘We keep investing in our network, and using our technology leadership to make sure customers are getting the most out of the latest smartphones. Customers need to be on 4G, getting the best out of their new devices with the highest quality phone calls and the fastest mobile data speeds. We’re converting 2G into 4G, because that’s what our customers need.’

United Kingdom, BT Group (incl. Openreach), EE