Everything Everywhere has unveiled a new company and brand, EE, which will offer 4G mobile and fibre broadband services.
EE’s 4G services will be available in 16 cities by Christmas. London, Bristol, Cardiff and Birmingham are the first cities to be switched on in the UK’s first 4G rollout, followed by Belfast, Bristol, Derby, Glasgow, Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield and Southampton.
Everything Everywhere, which also operates the Orange and T-Mobile services, said that all 27 million customers on the two networks will be transferred to the new EE network within months and will experience faster 3G speeds, reaching up to 21Mbps, at no extra cost. Orange and T-Mobile contracts will still be offered to new and existing customers.
EE has confirmed that supported handsets include the Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE, HTC One XL, Huawei Ascend P1 LTE, and Nokia’s Lumia 820 and 920 handsets, which are exclusives for the network.
In addition, EE is launching a fixed-line fibre broadband service to homes and businesses, which will be available to 11 properties by the end of the year, reaching two thirds of properties by the end of 2014. An EE spokesman said the company would be announcing more details about fibre services, including speeds, in the coming weeks.
“Today we launch a new company, a new networking and a new brand for Britain. Our plans to revolutionise the UK communications market with a faster networking an an exciting new brand for the digital age are built on solid investment and a simple belief that customers deserve better,” said Olaf Swantee, CEO of EE.
“We look forward to connecting the country with superfast mobile speeds in the coming weeks, months and years. And it starts today, with the announcement of our new business, our new brand and a new digital infrastructure that our company, our customers and the country can be proud of," Swantee said.
EE has also trained more than 10,000 staff as it prepares to open over 700 branded stores in the UK.
The UK’s telecoms regulator Ofcom granted Everything Everywhere, an equal joint venture between Duetsch Telekom and France Télécom, permission to deliver 4G services on its 1800 MHz spectrum in August after its investigation found that allowing the move would deliver “significant” benefit to customers.
When the European commission approved the merger of Orange and T-Mobile in the UK in March 2010, it required Everything Everywhere to divest part of its 1800MHz spectrum. EE announced last month that it would abide by this by transfering 2x15MHz of its spectrum to mobile operator Three.