The UK's largest mobile operator EE has switched on 4G in nine new areas across the UK, bringing the total number of towns and cities covered by superfast mobile technology to 27.
The new areas are Amersham, Bolton, Chelmsford, Hemel Hempstead, Southend-on-Sea, Stockport, Sunderland, Sutton Coldfield and Wolverhampton. 4G now covers the homes and businesses of approximately 45 percent of the UK population, according to EE.
As well as bringing 4G to new areas, EE is continuing to increase the network density of its 4G masts, in order to improve the consistency of the service in the previously launched towns and cities.
“As the first operator to bring 4G to the UK it is important that we make it accessible to as much of the population as possible, as quickly as possible,” said Olaf Swantee, Chief Executive Officer at EE.
“We continue to bring superfast mobile to more and more people, whether they’re using their devices outdoors or in their homes and offices, and to increase the speed and consistency of our 4G and 3G network across the UK.”
The announcement comes just 90 days after the launch of EE's 4G service. The company intends 4G to be available to 98% of the population by the end of 2014.
4G is billed as being approximately five times faster than 3G, allowing EE's 4G customers to access the web on the go, quickly download large email attachments, watch live TV on mobiles without buffering, make high quality video calls on the move and play live multiplayer games.
Meanwhile, the long-awaited auction of 4G licenses finally kicked off last week, with seven bidders competing to acquire new capacity in the 800MHz and 2.6GHz spectrum bands. The new spectrum will almost double the amount of airwaves currently available for mobile broadband service, according to Ofcom.
EE also announced on Wednesday that it will be the first mobile operator to offer the 4G Blackberry Z10 smartphone on its network, alongside other handsets such as the iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy SIII.