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EE Coverage and Network Review

21st June 2017

EE Coverage and Network

EE is the biggest and fastest 4G network in the UK. Now owned by BT, it has almost comprehensive 4G population coverage and also stands out through faster services such as double speed and 4G+.

EE’s 4G network currently reaches over 99% of the UK population, which is the equivalent of more than 80% of the UK geography. It’s expected to reach 95% geographic coverage by 2020. All plans come with 4G at no extra cost, and deliver average download speeds of 33.83Mbit/sec.

Pros

Cons

Great 4G coverage

Pricey

Fast speeds

No data rollover

Roaming beyond the EU on some plans

 

Our Verdict 

Coverage

EE's network provides excellent coverage for 4G, 3G and 2G providing coverage to 99, 98 and 99 per cent of the UK population respectively.

That puts EE in first place when it comes to UK coverage with their nearest rival being Vodafone who's 4G, 3G and 2G networks covers 88, 96 and 99 per cent of the UK population respectively.

Network Type Coverage by population
4G  99%
3G 98%
2G 99%

Use EE’s coverage checker below to find out more about EE 4G coverage in your area, including signal strengths and details on both indoor and outdoor coverage.

 

4G from EE is now available in hundreds of towns and cities, including the following cities:

Aberdeen, Armagh, Bangor, Bath, Belfast, Birmingham, Bradford, Brighton, Bristol, Cambridge, Canterbury, Cardiff, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Chester, Chichester, Coventry, Derby, Derry, Dundee, Durham, Edinburgh, Ely, Exeter,  Glasgow, Gloucester, Hereford, Inverness, Kingston upon Hull, Lancaster, Leeds, Leicester, Lichfield, Lincoln, Lisburn, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Newport, Newry, Norwich, Nottingham, Oxford, Peterborough, Peterlee, Perth, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Preston, Ripon, Sheffield, Southampton, St Albans, St Asaph, St David’s, Salford, Salisbury, Stirling, Stoke, Sunderland, Swansea, Truro, Wakefield, Wells,City of Westminster, Winchester, Wolverhampton Worcester and York.

Recent locations to benefit from EE 4G include Sidmouth, Ilfracombe, Midsomer Norton and Wymondham.

Network Speeds and Frequencies

EE uses three different types of 4G. There’s standard 4G, which is up to around 5 times faster than a standard 3G network, double speed 4G, which is up to twice that fast, and 4G+, which is typically 20 times faster than a standard 3G network.

The network’s average 4G download speed is 33.83Mbit/sec, while its average 4G upload speed is 13.81Mbit/sec. That’s faster than even rival 4G networks and provides an experience similar to a home broadband connection.

  • Average Download Speed: 33.83 Mbit/sec
  • Average Upload Speed: 13.81 Mbit/sec

EE uses the 800MHz band, 1800MHz band and 2600MHz band for 4G. The 800MHz band is long range, making it good for rural locations, but it can also penetrate walls, for strong indoor coverage. The 2600MHz band meanwhile is shorter range but deals well with congested areas like inner cities, and the 1800MHz band is a middle ground. You can find in depth details of those bands in our 4G frequencies guide.

  • 800MHz used for 4G
  • 1800MHz used for 4G
  • 2100 MHz used for 3G
  • 2600 MHz used for 4G

Double Speed 4G from EE:

Double speed 4G is now available to over 80% of the UK population, with covered locations including Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Derby, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield, Southampton, Sunderland, Sutton Coldfield, Walsall, West Bromwich and Wolverhampton.

4G LTE Advanced (branded 4G+ by EE):

The new 4G+ technology uses EE’s 2.6GHz high capacity spectrum, and is available in large parts of Greater London, including Camden, Chelsea, Islington, Kensington, Kilburn, Notting Hill, Old Street, Shoreditch, Soho, Southbank, Southwark, The West End and Westminster. Its footprint in London is growing all the time and EE has also begun spreading 4G+ across the UK’s other busiest cities, including Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester.

Plans

EE has a range of Pay Monthly and SIM Only plans available, as well as Pay As You Go bundles. Plans are available from as little as £5 per month and all of them come with 4G at no extra cost.

Pay Monthly Phone Plans

 

4GEE Essential

4GEE Plan

4GEE Max

Global Roaming

No

No

Calls, texts and data

Tethering

Yes

Yes

Yes

Maximum 4G Speed

60Mbps

60Mbps

90Mbps

Free BT Sport

3 Months

3 Months

Full Contract Duration

Max Data Allowance

2GB 10GB 40GB

Contract Length

24 Months 24 Months 24 Months

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EE’s Pay Monthly plans are split into three categories: 4GEE Max, 4GEE and 4GEE Essential. Data speeds on 4GEE Essential plans and standard 4GEE plans top out at 60Mbps, but standard plans have higher data and minutes allowances.

4GEE Max Plans let you roam beyond the EU, adding free roaming in the US, Canada, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand too, and give you the maximum possible data speeds, as well as giving you full access to BT Sport, where the standard and Essential plans only give you BT Sport for 3 months.

All Pay Monthly plans last 24 months, but some give you the option to upgrade after 12 months with no early upgrade fees.

SIM Only Plans

 

4GEE Essential

4GEE Plan

4GEE Max

Global Roaming

No

No

Calls, texts and data

Tethering

Yes

Yes

Yes

Maximum 4G Speed

60Mbps

60Mbps

90Mbps

Free BT Sport

3 Months

3 Months

Full Contract Duration

Max Data Allowance

1GB 5GB 30GB

Contract Length

1 or 12 Months 1 or 12 Months 1 or 12 Months
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Just as with Pay Monthly, EE’s SIM Only Plans are split into 4GEE Essential plans (the most basic and affordable one), 4GEE plans (the standard ones, which add unlimited minutes and unlimited texts) and 4GEE Max plans (which let you roam beyond the EU, plus offer the fastest 4G speeds, unlimited calls, unlimited texts and free access to BT Sport). Note that the plans aren't currently labelled Essential/Max.

SIM Only Plans last either 12 months (with plans starting at £10.99) or 30 days (with plans starting at £13.99).

Data Only Plans – For Tablets and Dongles

EE also offers Data Only plans for tablets, MiFi devices and dongles. These, as the name suggests, come with data but no minutes or texts.

They are available on 1, 3, 6 or 12-month contracts with up to 32GB of data.

Pay As You Go

EE offers a range of Pay As You Go bundles, each of which last 30 days and automatically recurs. You can see details of them in the table below.

Roaming beyond the EU is not included with any Pay As You Go packs, but you can tether your data.

Bundle

Minutes

Texts

Data

£5 Everything Pack

50

250

150MB

£10 Data Pack

100

1000

1GB

£10 Everything Pack

150

Unlimited

500MB

£15 Data Pack

250 Unlimited 4GB

£15 Everything Pack

500 Unlimited 2GB

£25 Everything Pack

1000 Unlimited 5GB

Shop EE Pay As You Go

Once your pack runs out you’ll pay 30p per minute and 12p per text. Data use is limited to packs.

EE Roaming Destinations

All EE customers can roam for free in Austria, Azores, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canary Islands, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, French Guiana, Germany, Gibraltar (UK), Greece, Guadeloupe, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madeira, Malta, Martinique, Poland, Portugal, Reunion Islands, Romania, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Martin (French), San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands, Vatican City, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Monaco, Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey.

That's essentially the standard selection of EU locations that all networks have to offer free roaming in, but if you're on a 4GEE Max plan you can also roam in the US, Canada, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand.

Unlike some networks, EE also lets you use 4G speeds in select countries, namely Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates and the US.

Conclusion

EE is a top class mobile network, especially if you care about 4G. It offers more UK coverage than any other network and higher speeds, as well as extras, such as inclusive roaming outside the EU.

It can be pricey, especially if you want to access the top speeds, and its selection of roaming locations isn’t a match for the likes of Three, but if you mostly plan to use your phone in the UK and aren’t on a tight budget EE is tough to beat.

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