4G drives surge in Christmas shopping on the go

  • 39% of 4GEE users plan to Christmas shop on a smartphone or tablet this year, up from 15% last Christmas
  • Fashion, entertainment, electronics and books are the most popular purchases, with a third of mobile shoppers spending more than £100 a month
  • The daily commute (8.30am and 5.30pm) is the most popular time for shopping on mobile devices
  • Browsing, streaming and social media continue to rise as superfast 4G internet enables people to do more on the move

EE, the UK’s most advanced digital communications company, today released its second 4GEE Mobile Living Index, revealing that 4G is set to transform Christmas shopping this year as faster mobile internet speeds allow people to shop for gifts from their mobile devices.

Retailers with quality mobile apps and websites optimised for mobile users are set to be the big winners. Christmas shopping on mobile is set to nearly triple, with 39% of 4GEE customers saying they will buy their gifts on their smartphone or tablet this year – up from 15% on 3G last year. 4GEE users say that fashion, entertainment, electronics and books are their most common mobile purchases, with eBay and Amazon cited as the most popular online shopping destinations.

The 4GEE Mobile Living Index also revealed that 8.30am and 5.30pm are the busiest times for mobile shopping, as people combine their journeys to and from work with some serious retail therapy. Spend is also steadily increasing: of the men that shop on mobile, over one third (35%) say they spent more than £100 in the last month alone and a fifth spent more than £200. 15% of women spent more than £200, almost double the figure from July’s report.

Pippa Dunn, Chief Consumer Marketing Officer at EE, said:

“When we look at this year’s Christmas shopping figures in the EE Mobile Living Index, the effect of 4G couldn’t be clearer.

“People are now buying their Christmas gifts on the move, without having to queue in shops. They are following their favourite team even when they can’t be in front of the TV. And they’re doing their online banking on their daily commute, while listening to music and searching the web. 4G is enabling people to shop, share and browse with a new level of flexibility and freedom.”

The 4GEE Mobile Living Index, which combines statistics from EE’s 4G mobile network with an in-depth survey of 4GEE customers, also reveals how faster mobile internet speeds are transforming the way the Britain behaves:

Social media and music growing rapidly versus 3G

  • Customers are sharing and streaming more on 4G than ever before. One in four people (24%) uses social media at least ten times per day and over a third (36%) are streaming more video than they did on 3G, with large peaks in traffic during key events such as on Halloween and live football matches
  • Network analysis reveals 4GEE customers use 28% more data on social media than 3G users, with Facebook, YouTube and Instagram using the most data over 4GEE
  • Music streaming services are benefitting from 4G. Deezer (13th) and Spotify (20th) appear in the top 20 most popular applications on 4G, but neither make the top 20 over 3G
  • Web browsing and email (40%), video (22%), social media (18%) and music (8%) are top of the list in terms of 4G traffic
  • More specifically, the top five applications in terms of volume of 4GEE data are: web browsers, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and video calls

The death of the phone box

  • Smartphones and tablets are quickly making traditional forms of communication obsolete: 80% of 4GEE customers haven’t used a phone box for five or more years
  • A quarter of all 4GEE customers - and nearly half (44%) of 18-24 year old customers - have never stepped inside a phone box
  • Nearly 1 in 5 (18%) have never used a home telephone as people become ever more reliant on their mobiles for voice calls, as well as data

Vital statistics

  • More than 1.2 million people are now enjoying 4GEE, almost double the number of 4G customers since August 2013 (687,000)
  • 4G customer demographic is expanding: nearly a third of 4GEE users are now over 45 (vs. 25% at launch)
  • Male to female split remains stable: 42% of 4GEE customers women
  • 65% consumers say they now use their personal devices to work on the move

For more information, please visit

- ENDS -

Notes to Editors:

Findings are based on EE network data and an independent survey of 1,000 4GEE users by TNS.

For more information, please contact the EE press team on:

0845 373 7070

About EE

EE is the largest and most advanced digital communications company in Britain, delivering mobile and fixed communications services to consumers, businesses, government and the wholesale market. With approximately 15,000 employees and 600 retail stores, EE serves more than 27 million customers on EE, Orange and T-Mobile mobile and broadband plans.

EE runs the UK's biggest and fastest mobile network, having introduced the UK's first superfast 4G mobile service in 2012. EE's 4G coverage today reaches more than 60% of the UK population. EE’s 2G coverage reaches 99% of the population while 3G reaches 98%. EE's superfast fibre broadband service covers 54% of the UK population, and ADSL broadband service covers 98.7% of the population.

EE has received extensive independent recognition including being ranked the UK's best overall network by RootMetrics®, Fastest Network at the 2013 uSwitch Awards, Best Network at the 2013 Mobile Choice Consumer Awards and What Mobile Awards, Network Innovation at the 2013 Recombu awards and Best Network for Business at the 2013 Mobile Industry awards.

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