EE has just made a trio of big announcements, headlined by the fact that it plans to bring 4G coverage to 95% of the UK landmass by 2020.
Generally when we talk about coverage we talk about it in terms of how much of the population can get online and by that metric EE has already exceeded 95% with 4G.
But its landmass coverage is actually just around 60%, which is still more than rival networks, but means that many people who live or work in rural areas won’t be able to get 4G speeds and that when travelling through the countryside you’ll often lose signal.
The coverage expansion will bring 4G to roughly 99.8% of the UK population and mean that wherever you go you should be able to get online. Not only would that be a massive expansion for 4G, but it would mean greater coverage than any network currently offers with even 2G or 3G.
This won’t just help with internet, but also calls, as EE’s 4G Calling service is already live in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Belfast, Leeds and Newcastle and will be switched on across the rest of the UK by July.
EE has also announced that it’s going to offer improved customer service and create new jobs by handling 100% of customer service calls in the UK and Ireland by the end of the year.
600 new roles are being created to achieve this and the first 100 will be based in Merthyr, North Tyneside, Plymouth and Ireland. These ones will be filled by the end of June and bring UK-based customer service to all EE Pay Monthly customers, with the remaining 500 roles being added later to extend the service to the rest of its customers.
EE CEO Marc Allera said of the plans:
“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.
“We’re bringing 100% of our EE customer service calls back to the UK and Ireland. We’ve already seen a major boost in customer satisfaction by creating 1,400 new service jobs here since 2014. Now we’re creating 600 additional jobs to handle all EE customer service calls in the UK and Ireland by the end of this year, providing the best possible experience for our customers.”
If that wasn’t enough for one announcement the network has also revealed that it’s switched on 4G in Shetland and the Isles of Scilly. Those are both remote locations and highlight the network’s commitment to filling in the holes in its coverage, a goal which will require over 750 new sites by 2020.