Mobile network operator EE is switching on the fastest 4G mobile network in the world today in London.
The service, dubbed 4G LTE Advanced, will deliver mobile broadband speeds of up to 300Mbps to a handful of selected businesses in Tech City from December, before being rolled out across London next year.
The new network, announced today by EE CEO Olaf Swantee at the Huawei Global Mobile Broadband Forum in London, uses spectrum that EE acquired in the Ofcom auction earlier this year, bringing together 20MHz of 1800MHz spectrum and 20MHz of 2.6GHz spectrum.
Ahead of the announcement, Swantee said: “This is the first part of an infrastructure that can meet the future demands of an increasingly data-hungry nation, enabling us to stay one step ahead of the demand.
“Our analysts predict data usage will grow significantly over the next three years. In fact, our trend mapping shows that data usage is set to rise by 750 percent in that period, as consumers and companies conduct more of their business and lives online.”
EE's Tech City partners will use a CAT6 Huawei router to access the super-fast network, which is said to be able to provide mobile Wi-Fi to up to 20 devices, with 802.11ac devices able to access speeds as high as 200Mbps. It is expected that the first commercially available Mobile Wi-Fi units will be introduced by summer 2014.
EE said the LTE Advanced network is for business users who wish to access cloud-based business applications such as those offered by SAP and other ERP solutions because it has “enterprises increased efficiency and flexibility.”
EE was launched more than a year ago and boasts 1.2 million 4G customers, and a 4G network that covers 131 towns and cities – reaching approximately 60 per cent of the population.
Huawei's UK CEO, Victor Zhang, said: “Today’s announcement is not only a vital step in the future of the UK’s mobile broadband infrastructure, it is also an important moment for Huawei’s UK business. We have been operating in the UK for 12 years and are committed to improving the national telecommunications infrastructure for the whole population. We are proud to have worked closely with EE as we grow our business in the UK following our pledge to invest £1.3bn into the economy over the next five years.”
The three main areas of Huawei's business are Carrier, Enterprise and Consumer. However, it is the Enterprise business that is growing fastest, with revenues of $1.8 billion (£1.12 billion) and a 25.8 percent year-on-year growth rate last year, compared to 6.7 percent for Huawei's core business in Carrier Networks.