EE now has more 4G customers than the other mobile networks combined

EE strengthened its position as the leading 4G network in the UK in 2014 after gaining 5.7 million customers over the year. This means it now has more 4G customers - 7.7 million - than the other major mobile networks - O2, Three and Vodafone - combined.

The numbers make it easy to see why BT agreed a £12.5billion deal to buy EE last month, even if a lot of the new customers were upgrading from their 3G plans with Orange and T-Mobile, which are both run by EE in the UK.

EE 'switched on' more than 200 cities and towns during the final three months of 2014, making 4G available to areas including Crewe, Bognor Regis, Hastings, Rugby, Stratford-Upon-Avon and Worcester. This means 4GEE is now available to 510 areas with a population of over 10,000.

Government plans to halve 'partial not spots' - areas where mobile coverage is only available from one or two networks - has led EE to focus its 4G roll-out on rural areas going forward. It provided 4G to 1,000 villages at the end of last year, including Elvanfoot in South Lanarkshire, which only has 52 residents.

The networks' efforts seem to have paid off, as 1.7 million customers signed up to EE 4G in November and December.

EE's 4G coverage across the UK now stands at more than 80% and is on course to hit 98% by the end of 2015, a whole year ahead of the deadline to hit that target set by communications regulator Ofcom.

The second largest 4G network, Three, currently has 3.1 million customers and only 48% coverage. O2 has three million 4G customers and 45% coverage, while Vodafone has 1.4 million 4G customers and 48% coverage.

If you're thinking about making the move to 4G, make sure you check what coverage is like where you live, work and anywhere else you regularly go using the networks' online coverage checkers before you sign up to anything.

Sources: Mobile News, Pocket-lint

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