In the first major announcement since the acquisition of the company by BT, the mobile operator said it would ensure 100% of customer service calls would be handled in the UK by the end of the year.
600 new roles have also been created.
Its ambitious plans will increase coverage of 4G services to 95% of the UK landmass, going further than current coverage of either 2G or 3G services. An emphasis will be placed on filling in current coverage blackspots, particularly in rural areas.
EE CEO Marc Allera said: “For the average smartphone user, not-spots aren’t tolerated and 2G doesn’t deliver what they need. Customers want 4G speeds everywhere they go, and mobile operators are too used to saying ‘no’ to new coverage. Today, I’m saying ‘yes’, with an ambition to go further than any operator has ever gone, and with the ultimate aim of covering the whole UK with 4G.”
Initially, 4G was only used for data connections, with customers moving to 3G when on a call. EE is now moving voice calls to 4G with the service already available in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Belfast, Leeds and Newcastle, and will be switched on across the rest of the network by July.
Kester Mann, Principal Analyst, Operators at CCS Insight, said the ambition was highly commendable: “One of the motivations behind today’s announcement is likely to have been the Emergency Services contract awarded by the government in December 2015. The operator had previously acknowledged the need to expand LTE coverage to meet the stringent requirements of this contract and was already committed to investing in more than 500 new LTE sites.”
The €16.45bn acquisition of EE from Orange and Deutsche Telekom was given the go ahead in January 2016.