Is EE picking up steam? Network operator attracts over 2 million 4G customers

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Two million now in the fast lane

EE, Britain's largest mobile operator, has attracted more than 2 million customers to its 4G network among falling prices and mobile internet tech uptake.

It added its second million in only four months, less than half the time it took to reach the one million mark. The average 4G customer was using 70 per cent more data at the end of 2013 compared with the start, driven by social media and video streaming.

EE, which formed after the merger of mobile networks Orange and T-Mobile in 2012, said that its customer base has grown faster than any operator outside of South Korea, where the technology has already overtaken 3G. EE offers internet access typically around 5 to 7 times faster than 3G, according to Ofcom.

Overall, EE has added around 800.000 4G customers since its last quarterly results in October. 14 per cent of pay-monthly subscribers are now on 4G networks, up from 8 per cent in October.

Dwarfing the competition

Olaf Swantee, EE chief executive, said: "We're incredibly proud of being the first UK operator to bring 4G to the UK and, in just over a year, exceeding our target by reaching two million 4G customers across the country.

"We continue to have particular success converting our existing base to 4G, with approximately two out of three new 4G customers moving over from Orange and T-Mobile plans."

O2 and Vodafone introduced their 4G network at the end of August, 10 months after EE, and continue to lag behind in the market. EE has a significant coverage advantage, having 160 town and cities offering service to around 44 milllion people, while Vodafone and O2 cover only 18 million.

In a memo to staff this week, Mr Swantee said EE will "continue to dwarf the competition in 4G rollout" this year.