People on 4GEE to double in 2014

EE gained more 4G customers in the first three months of the year than in any previous three-month period, and the network says it's on target to more than double the number of people using 4GEE by the end of the year.

EE gained more 4G customers in the first three months of 2014 than in any other three-month period since it became the first network to launch 4G in the UK in October 2012.

It gained a total of 889,000 4G customers in January, February and March, taking the total number of people with 4GEE, which is now available to 72% of people in the UK, to 2.9 million.

EE's latest financial results also reveal that 50% of those joining EE, Orange and T-Mobile on a pay-monthly contract, or renewing a pay-monthly Orange or T-Mobile contract, are opting for 4G.

Over one in four newbies are opting for double speed 4GEE Extra, which offers download speeds of up to 60Mb - over three times faster than the average home broadband speed in the UK - which is now available to 25% of the population.

EE reckons at this rate more than double the number people - over six million - will be on 4GEE by the end of 2014.

However, 2014 hasn't been quite as kind to EE when it comes to the number of new pay-monthly customers it's attracting, with the network gaining over 35% fewer between January and March than it did between October and December last year.

EE big cheese Olaf Swantee blamed this on a lack of exciting new phones coming out, telling the London Evening Standard: "From a handset perspective, it was not a big quarter."

However, this doesn't quite explain why the number of new pay-monthly customers EE gained in those three months is less than in any three-month period since it began publishing financial results in 2011, following the merger of Orange UK and T-Mobile UK in 2010.

One reason for this may be that, if you want 4G, you're no longer limited to EE - O2 and Vodafone began offering it in September last year, Three began making it available to new and existing customers at no extra cost in December and Tesco Mobile did the same in January.

However, if you're thinking about upgrading, EE is still the king of the hill when it comes to 4G coverage, with 4GEE available to double the amount of people that can get O2, Tesco Mobile and Vodafone 4G, and reaching over five times as many towns and cities as Three 4G.

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