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EE Coverage and Network Review

15th April 2019


EE Coverage and Network

EE is the biggest and fastest 4G network in the UK. Now owned by BT, it has the best download speeds of any UK network and possibly also the best coverage (though the competition is close).

EE’s 4G network currently reaches over 99% of the UK population and roughly 91% of the UK geography. All plans come with 4G at no extra cost and the network delivers average 4G download speeds of 28.9Mbps according to tests.

So speeds are high, coverage is good and on top of that EE offers tethering, Wi-Fi Calling, VoLTE and roaming beyond the EU on some plans (all detailed below). But this comes at a cost, as EE can be a little more pricey than other networks and it doesn’t have all the extras found on some rivals, such as data rollover and unlimited data allowances.




Great 4G coverage


Fast speeds

No data rollover other than on PAYG

Roaming beyond the EU on some plans


Our Verdict 


EE Network Coverage

Network Type

Coverage by population







EE's network offers excellent coverage for 4G, 3G and 2G, providing coverage to 99, 98 and 99 per cent of the UK population respectively. That makes EE's coverage even better than rival networks.

At this point the differences in coverage aren’t as drastic as they once were, since all networks are now at close to 100% population coverage, but EE – or an EE MVNO - is still the best choice if widespread coverage is your priority.

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

4G Network Coverage Comparison


4G coverage by population









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.

Network Speeds and Frequencies

OpenSignal – Mobile Networks Update, October 2018


4G download speeds

4G latency (ms)













EE delivered the highest download speeds in OpenSignal's mobile network update in October 2018, delivering average speeds of 28.9Mbps. The network also fared well when it came to network latency, leading the pack with a latency of 39.77ms. Latency is the delay experienced when sending and receiving data on the network and is an important consideration to those who play online games.

It's worth noting that both its download speed and latency results are slightly better than OpenSignal reported in 2017, so the network is showing improvements, as well as being top of the pack, though EE's results haven't changed much since April 2018.

Speedtest – Mobile Speedtest Data, Q3-Q4 2017


Download/upload speeds









EE also came out on top of Speedtest's Mobile Data (Q3-Q4 2017) delivering 28.80Mbps download speeds followed in second place by Vodafone this time with speeds of 17.26MBps. EE's network also delivered the highest average upload speeds of 9.29Mbps followed in second place by Vodafone.

EE Network Frequencies


Frequency Band



Band 20



Band 3

2G & 4G


Band 1

3G & 4G


Band 7


EE uses the 800MHz frequency, 1800MHz frequency, 2100MHz and 2600MHz frequency for 4G. The 800MHz frequency is long range, making it good for rural locations, but it can also penetrate walls, for strong indoor coverage. The 2600MHz frequency meanwhile is shorter range but deals well with congested areas like inner cities, and the 1800MHz and 2100MHz frequency is a middle ground. You can find in-depth details of those frequency bands in our 4G frequencies guide.

For 3G, EE uses 2100MHz, and for 2G is uses 1800MHz, though the network is becoming ever less dependent on these now that its 4G coverage is widespread.

EE also holds some spectrum in the 3.4GHz band, which will come into play for 5G.

Double Speed and 4G LTE Advanced

EE offers two different services which impact on the maximum 4G speeds. Double speed 4G is offered on 4GEE and 4GEE Essential plans and delivers speeds up 20 times faster than 3G (up to 60Mbps). While, 4G+ (or LTE-Advanced) is available with 4GEE Max plans and offers speeds up to 25 times faster than 3G (up to 90Mbps). 

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.

EE's 4G+ technology uses the network'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.

Planned Improvements

Most of EE’s planned improvements currently look to involve 5G, with the network set to launch a commercial 5G service later this year. Ahead of that it is running numerous trials to make sure its network is as ready as possible.

Traffic Management

EE’s current traffic management policy doesn’t appear to limit the amount or speed of your data beyond the standard terms of your contract – so for the highest speeds of around 90Mbps you’ll need a 4GEE Max plan, while 4GEE Essential plans top out at 60Mbps.

However, EE adds that it reserves the right to manage your use of the network in order to protect it for the use of all customers, and may therefore apply traffic management controls from time to time.

Beyond that, if you hit your data allowance you won’t be able to use additional data without purchasing it first or waiting for your next bill cycle. Data speeds may also be slower when roaming.


Pay Monthly Plans

EE has a range of Pay Monthly and SIM Only plans available, as well as Pay As You Go bundles, and all of them come with 4G at no extra cost.

EE Pay Monthly Plans


Mobile Phones

SIM Only

Data Only

Plans Available

Max Data




Contract lengths

24 months

1 or 12 months

1, 12 or 24 months




WiFi Calling


Data Rollover

Spending Caps


View deals

View deals

View deals

EE’s Pay Monthly plans are split into two categories: 4GEE Max and 4GEE Essential. Data speeds on 4GEE Essential plans top out at 60Mbps, and these plans also let you roam for free in the EU and give you 3 months of BT Sport.

4GEE Max Plans let you roam in the EU and beyond, adding free roaming in the US, Canada, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand, and give you the maximum possible data speeds, as well as giving you full access to BT Sport for the duration of your contract.

Pay Monthly Plan Benefits


4GEE Essential Plan

4GEE Max Plan

EU Roaming

Global Roaming

Max 4G Speed



Free BT Sport

3 Months

Full Contract

All Pay Monthly plans last 24 months, but some give you the option to upgrade after 12 months with no early upgrade fees, however this is only available on the priciest of tariffs, so it can be an expensive option.

Taking all of the above into account, EE’s Pay Monthly plans stand out due to higher data speeds than rival networks along with free access to BT Sport. But often high prices hold them back slightly, and while data limits can be high and free roaming can be had beyond the EU, it’s not as good for either of those things as Three.

EE’s SIM Only Plans are currently only available in the Essential variety (and don't seem to be labelled as such), so you can only roam in the EU and data speeds top out at 60Mbps - though notably they still offer higher speeds than most networks.

Both 24-month Pay Monthly and 6-month SIM Only plans also currently give you a free 6-month Apple Music subscription.

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.


EE offers tethering as standard on all of its plans and you can use as much data as you want for it, up to your overall data allowance – though bear in mind you’ll then be left with no data to use on your phone until the next month.

At the moment that means if you’re taking out a new plan you can use up to 100GB of data each month on a Pay Monthly plan, up to 60GB on SIM Only and up to 50GB on Data Only plans.

WiFi Calling

EE offers Wi-Fi Calling as standard on its Pay Monthly plans, meaning you can call or text (as well as receiving calls and texts) over Wi-Fi. It does this seamlessly without an app and is handy if you’re ever somewhere without a signal but with a Wi-Fi connection.

However, it’s not available on all handsets, though it does work on all 'compatible' handsets when bought directly from EE.

Many handsets not bought from EE should also work with Wi-Fi Calling, including the iPhone 8, iPhone X, Samsung Galaxy S9, Sony Xperia XZ1, HTC U11 and many more, but the network can’t guarantee their compatibility. Wi-Fi Calling also isn’t available on Pay As You Go.


VoLTE stands for Voice Over LTE, and on EE the service is called 4G Calling. That name tells you most of what you need to know – it lets you make calls over 4G. The big advantage of this is improved voice quality, but it also means you can make calls when you’re somewhere that has 4G coverage but not 3G or 2G.

It works across EE’s entire 4G network but only on select handsets, including the Samsung Galaxy S9, Sony Xperia XZ1, LG G6, iPhone X and many more. To guarantee it will work you should buy your handset direct from EE, but VoLTE should also work on some phones when not bought from EE. 

EE Pay As You Go Plans


Mobile Phones

Plans Available

Add-ons available

Max Data Allowance


Add-on expiry 

30 days

Top Up Expiry

180 days inactivity


EU Roaming

Global Roaming

EE offers a range of Pay As You Go bundles, each of which lasts 30 days and automatically recurs.

Roaming beyond the EU is not included with any Pay As You Go packs, which is a major downside if you ever plan to use your phone abroad, but on the other hand many networks don’t offer free roaming beyond the EU on any of their plans, and you can at least tether your data. Many of EE's Pay As You Go packs also let you roll over your data from one month to the next.

As well as the packs themselves, every three months you'll get a free boost of data, minutes or texts. The longer you stay, the more data you get. You'll unlock a new level of data every three months to get an extra 500MB, then 1GB, then 1.5GB etc. These boosts last the duration of your pack. These boosts are only available on phone bundles that come with a mix of minutes, texts and data, but similar boosts are available for tablet SIMs.

Boosts reward commitment and if you stick with EE’s Pay As You Go service it can become very good value, but its standard rates aren’t the most competitive, as once your pack runs out you’ll pay 35p per minute and 15p per text. Data use is limited to packs.

Roaming Destinations

All EE customers can roam for free in 48 destinations, namely 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, Mayotte, 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, for 53 destinations in total.

Unlike some networks, EE also lets you use 4G speeds in select countries, including Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Jersey, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Moldova, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates and the US.

Customer Service

As well as speeds, allowances and coverage, customer service is a key and often overlooked aspect of a mobile network, and it’s one which right now EE doesn’t seem to excel at.

Although it can be hard to get a firm grasp of how good customer service is, Which? has taken a stab at it, surveying 4,026 members of the public in early 2017, and finding that EE was 13th among mobile networks, tied with Vodafone and below Three or O2, with an overall ‘customer score’ of just 50%.

The network was rated 2/5 for customer service, 2/5 for ease/speed of contacting, 2/5 for value for money and 1/5 for incentives.

It’s worth noting of course that this survey is rather old, so things could have changed, and it may not be entirely representative in any case, especially as EE was separately found to receive well under the average number of complaints in an Ofcom study from Q3 2018.


EE is a top-class mobile network, especially if you care about 4G. It offers higher speeds and lower latency than any rival network, as well as competitive coverage and 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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