EE to invest £275 million in mobile calls during 2014 – driving new benchmark for quality & reliability

  • EE investment set to improve UK customer mobile call experience and match international benchmarks
  • 11,000 2G sites being upgraded, and capacity being doubled on 7,000 3G sites
  • EE call volumes up 25% since the beginning of 2012, showing more reliance on the mobile and call success rates at all-time high

EE today confirmed that during 2014 it will invest £275 million in the most traditional part of its business – the phone call.

The company – best known for its pioneering 4G service that enables customers to access high-speed internet on the move – plans to set a new benchmark for voice call quality and reliability.

EE confirmed that, of its total £1.5 billion network investment, over one third will support the company’s ambition to reach new standards in phone call quality and reliability.

Olaf Swantee, CEO of EE, said: “While we consistently outperform on the standard UK benchmark for voice call quality and reliability, I don’t believe the benchmark is right. I think the UK mobile industry can do better, and we intend to improve the experience for our customers, taking our quality and reliability to levels to those achieved by other operators across Europe.

“This year, we have been focusing a large amount of our activity and investment on offering consumers the most reliable, highest quality phone call experience. I’m proud to say that we have reached our highest ever call success rate - 99.2% - while carrying over one billion calls every week. But we can go even further.

“For the majority of our customers, being able to make a phone call when they need to is still the vital aspect of the mobile experience. Innovative, high-speed data services receive most of the attention in the mobile industry as they are changing the way people communicate, connect, trade and interact. However, we carried more voice calls on our network than ever before this year, and we know that call reliability is essential for our customers. That’s why we plan to invest £275m in our voice call service in 2014 as we strive to set new standards in call quality and reliability.”

The investment commitment builds on EE’s 2013 voice service enhancement, which resulted in the mobile operator’s highest ever call success rate, despite the number of calls on the network increasing.

To reach the company’s highest ever call success rate, EE has undertaken the following activity:

  • Upgraded 20 year old 2G equipment on over 6,000 sites with the latest technology to reduce dropped calls by 50%
  • Increased the capacity on 1,600 3G sites to support 50% more calls
  • Installed a new HLR (Home Location Register) database to increase call set up success

Ongoing investment in 2014 will see:

  • Over 5,000 more old 2G sites upgraded
  • Capacity increased on 5,500 more sites on the 3G network, which now carries over two thirds of all EE calls
  • Trials of future call services including 4G voice (VoLTE) and voice over Wi-Fi

As revealed in the latest edition of the EE Mobile Living Index, the volume of calls on the EE network has increased 25% since the beginning of 2012.

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- ENDS – 

Notes to Editor

EE is targeting a dropped call rate of 0.5% by the end of 2014, to set new international benchmarks.

The company’s 4GEE service will be available in 160 UK towns and cities by Christmas – Aberdeen, Accrington, Aldershot, Altrincham, Amersham, Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Ashford, Ashton-under-Lyne, Aylesbury, Barnsley, Bath, Basildon, Basingstoke, Beaconsfield, Bedford, Belfast, Benfleet, Berkhamsted, Bicester, Billericay, Bingley, Birmingham, Blackburn, Blackpool, Bolton, Bournemouth, Bracknell, Bradford , Braintree, Brentwood, Brighton, Bristol, Burton upon Trent, Caerphilly, Camberley, Cambridge, Cardiff, Coalville, Caldicot, Canvey Island, Carlisle, Crawley, Chatham, Chelmsford, Cheltenham, Chepstow, Chester, Chester-le-Street, Chorley, Colchester, Coventry, Cwmbran, Darlington, Derby, Dewsbury, Doncaster, Dudley, Dundee, Durham, Edinburgh, Exeter, Farnborough, Farnham, Fleet, Gerrards Cross, Gillingham, Glasgow, Gloucester, Grays, Grimsby, Guildford, Halifax, Harlow, Harpenden, Hatfield, Hemel Hempstead, High Wycombe, Hinckley, Hitchin, Houghton-le-Spring, Horsham, Huddersfield, Hull, Ipswich, Kenilworth, Leatherhead, Leeds, Leicester, Letchworth, Lichfield, Lincoln, Liverpool, London, Loughborough, Luton, Lytham St Annes, Maidenhead, Maidstone, Manchester, Marlow, Merthyr Tydfil, Milton Keynes, Middlesbrough, Newbury, Newcastle, Newcastle Under Lyme, Newport, Northampton, Norwich, Nottingham, Oldham, Oxford, Peterborough, Plymouth, Poole, Pontefract, Portsmouth, Preston, Rayleigh, Reading, Redcar, Redhill, Reigate, Rochdale, Rochester, Rotherham, Runcorn, Sale, Sevenoaks, Sheffield, Shipley, Slough, Southampton, Southend-on-Sea, Southport, Stevenage, St Albans, Stafford, Stockport, Stoke, Sunderland, Sutton Coldfield, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Thame, Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells, Walsall, Warrington, Watford, Welwyn Garden City, Weston-super-Mare, West Bromwich, Wigan, Windsor, Woking, Wolverhampton and Worksop, York and EE is aiming for 98% of the UK population to be covered by the end of 2014.

Double speed 4GEE is available in 20 cities - Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Derby, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield, Southampton, Sunderland, Sutton Coldfield, Walsall, West Bromwich and Wolverhampton.

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 26 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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