Everything Everywhere outlines 4G plans
UK operator Everything Everywhere has outlined plans for the launch of 4G services, including the launch of the EE brand.
The joint venture, formed from France Telecom’s Orange and Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile plans to make services available to 20 million people by Christmas, a third of the UK population.
The LTE network will be trialed in London, Birmingham, Cardiff and Bristol before officially launching in 16 cities.
The company is also planning to launch superfast fibre broadband at the same time as its 4G offering. It plans to provide 11 million homes and businesses with access to the fixed line service by the end of 2012 and two third of homes and businesses by the end of 2014.
Everything Everywhere will launch a new brand, EE, in a few weeks, to offer both the 4G and fixed broadband services.
The JV’s existing Orange and T-Mobile brands will be maintained but all 700 stores will be renamed to use the single EE shop sign.
Analysts believe that the launch will give EE the first mover advantage in the market and the appeal of faster download and upload speeds for mobile devices will likely attract consumers.
The launch does carry risks, however, as the new brand could cause confusion for customers or divert them away from its more traditional offerings in the Orange and T-Mobile brands
The operator plans to invest £1.5 billion in its network over the next three years, and will provide coverage for 98% of the population by the end of 2014.
Everything Everywhere controversially received approval last month for the early roll out of 4G services, disgruntling rivals Vodafone, O2 and 3UK, which will have to wait until next year’s spectrum auction to launch their own services.
This week there have been reports that Everything Everywhere is engaging in talks with its rivals and regulator Ofcom to prevent legal action from affecting the launch of 4G services In the UK.