EE makes further commitment to rural connectivity and will upgrade 4G in more than 2,000 areas by 2024
- EE will expand 4G in more than 2,000 areas by June 2024 to improve rural connectivity across the UK as part of the Shared Rural Network (SRN) programme
- 853 areas already upgraded since SRN deal was signed – 449 in England, 265 in Scotland, 97 in Wales, and 42 in Northern Ireland
- A further 1,500+ upgrades to follow as EE invests to significantly reduce ‘partial not-spots’ by 2024
EE will upgrade 4G in more than 2,000 areas by June 2024 as part of the Shared Rural Network initiative to extend coverage in rural areas across the UK.
SRN is a programme between the UK’s four mobile network operators and Government to extend 4G coverage to 95% of the UK’s geography by the middle of this decade. The upgrades announced today fall under the first phase of the Shared Rural Network, where EE will invest to significantly reduce ‘partial not-spots’.
EE has upgraded its 4G network in more than 800 areas across the UK since the SRN deal was signed in March 2020. Today, EE has pledged to extend 4G in a further 1532 by mid-2024 – 925 in England, 359 in Scotland, 125 in Northern Ireland, and 123 in Wales – totalling 2,385 in this phase of the programme. All sites have been made available for other operators to share under the SRN scheme.
Digital Infrastructure Minister Julia Lopez said: "We know the incredible impact better connectivity will have on countryside communities. That's why we struck a £1 billion deal, jointly funded by the government and mobile firms, to bring fast and reliable 4G mobile coverage to 95 per cent of the UK.
“EE's plans show good progress and will increase choice for consumers and boost productivity in rural areas. We will continue to work closely with them to close down further gaps in rural mobile signal.”
Philip Jansen, Chief Executive of BT Group, said: “Today we’ve made a renewed commitment to boost rural connectivity, helping improve mobile performance regardless of location. The investment BT has made in rural areas means we have the infrastructure in place to extend our 4G coverage footprint even further, minimising the number of new sites we need to build to ensure everyone has access to reliable connectivity. EE is still the only provider of 4G coverage in many places across the UK, and we encourage other operators to recognise the opportunity sharing our sites offers to fill gaps in their networks.”
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Notes to editors
The Shared Rural Network is a programme between the UK’s four mobile network operators and Government to extend 4G coverage to 95% of the UK’s geography by the middle of this decade. The figures provided in this press release relate to EE’s 4G upgrade programmes that contribute towards SRN progress.
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EE runs the UK's biggest and fastest mobile network, offering superfast connections in more places than any other operator. EE brought the first 4G network to the UK in October 2012, and launched the UK’s first 5G network in May 2019.
EE has received extensive independent recognition, including being named the UK’s no.1 5G network by RootMetrics® in 2020 and 2021, and the UK's best network every year since 2014 for the following awards: The Mobile Choice Awards, The Mobile Industry Awards and by RootMetrics®.
As well as delivering mobile services to consumers, small and medium businesses, corporate customers and Government programmes, EE also provides home and business broadband using both 4G and fixed line connections.
EE is committed to being number one for service in the industry, and has nearly 600 shops across the UK. EE remains the only mobile provider to answer 100% of customer calls in the UK and Ireland and was recognised as the UK’s Best Large Contact Centre by the UK Customer Experience Awards 2018 and Welsh Contact Centre Awards 2019. EE was awarded The Sunday Times’ Best 100 Companies to Work for in 2018 and 2019, as well as being named Best Employer 2018 by the European Contact Centre & Customer Service awards.
EE is part of BT’s Consumer business unit which provides products and services to all of BT’s consumer customers in the UK.
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