EE plans to boost coverage of 4G, using drones and balloons

Wednesday, February 18th 2015

Mobile network provider EE, is planning to boost its 4G coverage still further and reach rural parts of UK, even using improvements like balloons and 'unmanned craft' or drones. These improvements means EE's 4G footprint will get bigger than its 2G service and target at rural parts, in a bid to serve more than 7.7 million customers. EE aims to provide 4G service at double speed to 90% of the UK population by the year 2017, but at the same time make available standard speeds to over 99% of the people. Currently, this largest mobile network provider is in the process of being acquired by BT, UK’s biggest telecoms company.


EE's manifesto "Signalling the Future", marks a new phase of the company's plans into the future, says Olaf Swantee, its CEO. EE plans to use new innovations to touch hard-to-reach areas, using unmanned crafts, such as drones and tethered balloons. The company is deploying new technology that uses small independent base-stations, separate from fixed broadband, which also marks a world 's first. The infrastructure will provide data and phone connectivity to those who are unconnected, in some 1,500 communities, without digging up roads and trenching fields. EE claims it will be able to provide voice service to over 90% of the 245,000 miles of UK roads by 2017, overtaking the current coverage of 87%. Specific 4G mobile coverage will serve UK’s busiest train routes covered too. Prof. Andy Sutton, Principal Network-Architect at EE, claims the company is laying the foundations to become a global leader in 5G, by evolving new 4G technologies. London Mayor Boris Johnson hopes 5G will be in the capital by 2020.


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