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February 25, 2014

EE Move’s Away from 4G Sharing with Three UK adopting NSN


EE and Three UK have a mast sharing agreement which was signed off before EE was formed from the old Orange and T-Mobile brands. This was recently extended in early February, for both companies to continue to share its 4G masts, antennae and back-haul networks.The agreement allowed both operators to share the costs of delivering 4G services to its customers.

However, as EE are currently so far ahead of Three UK with its 4G network rollout, there was always the danger of Three UK gaining ground over EE. This would reduce the timescale for Three to rollout 4G rather than needing to make its own arrangements.This issue has been resolved as EE have decided to plough ahead on its own with the next and more difficult part of reaching the next 25% of the population, covering rural areas and small towns.
Under the multi-year turnkey contract, EE will run different radio technologies using single, multi-purpose hardware. This includes NSN’s (Nokia Solutions and Networks) scalable, high-capacity Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Stations. In addition, it includes NSN’s cloud-ready NetAct for efficient network management.Moving away from sharing with Three UK is a very good move for EE, as it means Three UK will now have to fend for itself.

This may partly be the reason why Three have previously stated that they won’t be launching 4G in Bangor, Swansea, Newport, Bath, Canterbury, Chester, Hereford, Lancaster, Lincoln, Salisbury, St Albans, Sunderland, Wakefield, Winchester and Worcester until sometime in 2015. EE CEO

Olaf Swantee said:“We have pioneered 4G in the UK, and we are now working with NSN on the next stage of our rollout, covering the next 25% of the UK population in rural areas and small towns. This partnership highlights our approach to maintaining a differentiated 4G network experience. We will continue to lead our UK competitors in speed, coverage, and reliability.”
EE has so far launched 4G in 60 towns and cities and provides coverage for 70% of the UK’s population.

Looking to view EE’s and Three UK’s 4G rollout progress to date?

Three 4G Network Summary
EE 4G Network Summary

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Dave Thornton

Senior Editor

Senior Editor
Been involved in technology for many years, more than I care to remember. Live in Dundee, Scotland. I like Android, Windows Phone OS, BlackBerry OS and iOS, and love writing about all things techie. Currently have a Honor 6+, Elephone P6000, Nexus 5, Chrombook C720, HTC One M7, Nokia Lumina 625, Microsoft Lumia 435, Blackberry Q10, HTC Hero and iPad mini