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EE Upgrade 4G and Switches on 5G in Busiest UK Coastal Areas

Friday, June 4th, 2021 (9:06 am) - Score 12,480

Mobile operator EE (BT) has today announced that they’ve upgraded the mobile data (broadband) capacity of their 4G network in many of the UK’s “most popular coastal locations“, in anticipation of a bumper “staycation summer“. On top of that, they’ve also switched-on ultrafast 5G in 9 similar locations.

The upgrades will bring better coverage and increased broadband speeds in areas of high demand, which does of course tend to reflect some of the most popular places for summer staycations. The COVID-19 pandemic has ensured that such places will almost certainly be busier than ever. By comparison, international travel continues to seem like a more expensive gamble.

Overall, EE has just upgraded its 4G network in the following locations: Blackpool, Bournemouth, Brighton, Dawlish, Gt Yarmouth, Isle of Sheppey, Maldon, Porthcawl and Rhyl. A further 16 locations (see below) are expected to follow “later this summer” with similar capacity upgrades.

The enhanced 4G coverage also forms an integral part of Britain’s new Emergency Services Network (ESN), which is already providing critical communications for some first responder and emergency agencies, allowing them to stay connected whilst they fulfil their vital public safety roles.

NOTE: The next 16 summer 4G upgrade locations include – Aberystwyth, Berwick upon Tweed, Budleigh Salterton, Cardigan Bay, Clacton on Sea, Newquay, Padstow, Selsey, Scarborough, Skegness, Snowdonia, St Ives, Tenby, Whitstable, Windermere and Woolacombe.

On top of that EE has also formally switched-on their latest ultrafast 5G network in 9 similar coastal locations, including Ayr, Blackpool, Brighton, Paignton, Poole, Porthcawl, Southend-on-Sea, Swansea and Weston-Super-Mare.

Unlike other operators, EE usually only announces 5G as being live in a location if it has a minimum population of 10,000 people, within which they must also be delivering 5G coverage to “at least a third of that local population as well as the centre of the location.” By comparison, we’ve seen some other operators announce locations despite only having the smallest of coverage.

Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s Consumer Division, said:

“With many popular seaside locations expecting a busy summer, we’re pleased to be providing improved coastal connectivity.

The upgrades to our network will help ensure our customers stay connected this summer, even at the busiest times. The additional capacity delivered through improvements to our 4G network, alongside the continued roll-out of our 5G network, will help people make the most of their time at the coast, and also provide a valuable lifeline, if an emergency occurs.”

We should add that, at present, EE can only harness a 40MHz slice of the 3.4GHz radio spectrum band for dedicated 5G services (excluding dynamic spectrum sharing with 4G), but they have recently secured a further 80MHz of spectrum in Ofcom’s auction of the 700MHz and 3.6-3.8GHz bands (here). The extra spectrum should deliver improvements to data speeds and network coverage.

Nevertheless, EE have already been able to deliver ultrafast 5G speeds in many areas (c.100-150Mbps+ on average across the UK). By comparison, the average download figure for 4G on EE is more like 33-39Mbps (here and here). Remember, we’re talking UK-wide averages here and NOT peak speeds.

Leave a Comment
45 Responses
  1. Ig Og says:

    EE, the most expensive network bar none.

    1. CarlT says:

      Someone has to be.

    2. Lucian says:

      Yes, but you get _q_u_a_l_i_t_yyyyy !

    3. Ig Og says:

      Just for lottery winners.

    4. Jim says:

      Good, it keeps the freeloaders and bandwidth hoggers away!

    5. 125us says:

      It’s almost as though there were some relationship between quality, coverage and price, isn’t it?

    6. 125us says:

      “Just for lottery winners”

      28% of the U.K. population are lottery winners? Wow.

    7. Lewis says:

      At least it works!

      I’m happy to pay for a service which offers me 4G in the vast majority of places I visit, live and work (7 different sites).

      NONE of the other networks provide coverage at work and pitiful data speeds in my home town, let alone the awful coverage pretty much everywhere else.

      It’s rare that I get a better signal or data on any network than EEs.

      You get what you pay for! BT Mobile’s tariffs are significantly cheaper if you want SIMO.

    8. James says:

      Do BT SIMO deals run at full EE speed though?

    9. CJ says:

      I’m another that’s happy to pay EE prices, for a network that overall is much better than the others where I use it around East Anglia.

      As for whether EE actually is more expensive, some of their best prices are not openly advertised. Call upgrades from an active pay as you go sim and they can offer 160GB for £14 on a 24 month contract. Sim only customers can upgrade online to “unlimited” for £28 with a smart benefit included eg. Apple Music, BT Sport, Prime Video. I wouldn’t call either of those offers expensive, considering the quality of the network.

    10. Carl O says:

      BT sims do run at the same speeds, tried and tested.

    11. Mike says:

      People complain about EE prices but then when you tell them to go with a cheaper network they complain about the quality, can’t have your cake and eat it…

    12. C0mbat_W0ombat says:

      I’ve been with EE for years. It probably has something to do with Thier quality service, speed and customer relations. Tried the other networks and NEVER again.

    13. Mr STEPHEN HORSFIELD says:

      EE gives a quality signal almost everywhere on 4g.. However I have had a 5g handset since October and had a 5g signal once. According to EE 5g is available in the Chorley and Preston area. That one place I actually had 5g was in Matallan Bamber Bridge.

  2. Dan says:

    Glad to hear this. I was at the coast last weekend and it was pretty busy with the good weather. Mobile data throughput on EE was unusable for most of the time.. a particular issue at the moment, when many bars and restaurants currently require you to order online from your table.

    1. AnotherTim says:

      Surely establishments that expect you to order from your table electronically provide WiFi?

  3. Sam says:

    I can confirm I did a 5G speed test last week in Shoreham and got 300 meg down and 42 up!

    1. Joe W says:

      My stomping ground! I’ve done a test in Shoreham and had 530mbps down and 49mbps up.

    2. Sam says:

      Joe what phone you using?

  4. Damien says:

    Well looking forward to decent 4G here in Skegness – never mind the 5G! – it’s about 3mbps at the moment but around 40 at 2am.

    1. Ryan says:

      I do agree with you, was in Skegness a few year back the 4G on EE was horrendous, data on Three was non existent.

      Hopefully after the upgrade EE is fast.

    2. Dave says:

      So am I, County Durham, 2.14MbS download, 0.12Mbs upload

    3. Ian says:

      Which part of County Durham are you in Dave? I’m also from that area.

      My phone with EE, DL 90.5mb UL 4.39mb
      My friends phone with 3, DL 23.7mb, UL 18.5mb
      My EE FTTP Broadband, DL 910mb, UL 98mb

  5. André says:

    Good to see a network being proactive. Or at least making it public that they’re being proactive 😉

    I echo other people’s problems. Here in Shrewsbury a nice day means lots of people in town, so I’m getting less than 1 Mbps downloads…. it’s frustrating that, because it’s a seasonal issue, EE don’t seem to do much about it…
    5G might be an idea but they only have that on 24 month contracts and that’s a complete red line for me.

    Oh, well. First world problems, I suppose…. 🙂

    1. Sam says:

      If you call them they do 12 month deals on 5G i got one yesterday

    2. André says:

      ooooh, thank you for the tip.
      Although I prefer 1 month contracts, 12 month is kinda borderline acceptable. I’ll give them a ring 😀

    3. James says:

      What did you get on the 12 month options?

    4. André says:

      20GB for £25
      That was a no-go…. I’ll wait for Three to do eSIM and jump ship, I think (although I may be waiting until the cold death of the universe)…. at least their 5G is free…

    5. Sam says:

      60gb data, 5G, Ultd Texts and Calls 21 a month 12 months.

    6. James says:

      How did you get that Sam? EE are giving me the runaround at the moment and are only giving me the same deals that are available to new customers?

  6. Gozzy says:

    I’m on BT which is EE,and I have found them to be great value for money. 100G of data, unlimited minutes and texts,plus a decent phone,for £30 a month. The network drops occasionally,but on the whole,it’s the best network in my area.

    1. James says:

      Is the speed capped at all in comparison to EE, or is it equal?

  7. Paul says:

    EE were the only provider that have any signal here in the New Forest, plus 160gig for £20 a month, good enough for me

  8. Preston.mulroy says:

    I’m afraid all the coastal coverage in the world won’t make up for probably the worst customer service I’ve ever encountered from any corporate. Without going into details I am so angry with them all I can do is wait until my contract expires I realise that it is only my personal experience but as soon as I am out of their clutches I will try and find a provider that at least makes some effort.

  9. Lee Valdro says:

    EE was good for me, not too expensive good coverage most places except an area in the South west I frequent a lot, switched to Three, much much better in this area and cheaper.

    All networks are different for different users but one thing you can guarantee with EE is you’ll be paying the most.

  10. Trevor says:

    Nothing for the south coast then. Thanks for for that then… But still charge us the same

  11. Koda says:

    I’m in an EE 5g area Poole and I get speeds topping 475Mbps down and 69.9Mbps upload with 13ping if only I wasn’t capped for data, I agree with the others EE is the best and fastest network in my area, I used to be with 3,they don’t have any good indoor service in Poole o2 is getting better tho

  12. Christine Constable says:

    EE are rubbish,had no signal for 3 week’s myself and partner on a shared contract.he is disabled and if he has a fall or something has no way to contact anyone so could be left in pain for hours, my sister who I also care for due to a brain injury cannot call or text me because I don’t have any signal.all I hear from EE is if I call them when I am in a different area and keep getting the same thing “just a few more days” wouldn’t recommend to anyone

  13. Nick Roberts says:

    This must be somebody doing a favour for the Government propaganda machine with a view to future enoblement possibilities i.e. Keep the holidaying ee-ors happy by ensuring they are placed in a limited extent bubble, mean while excluding all the rest of local residents from a leading-edge service viz Dawlish. That’ll help off-set any anti-government voting sentiment amongst current bun readers arising from COVID handling. Cynical moi ?

    What about the rest of the population ?

    NW London suburbs . . . . OFCOM map says 5G YES . . .you wouldn’t receive if you had Joddrell Bank Radio telescope in place and the ghost of Sir Bernard directing the hands of Mr Bacon on the controls.

    PR bullshine.

    1. 125us says:

      Are you drunk or just new to the English language?

  14. Nick Roberts says:

    One good thing about EE, they know how to spend the advertising budget on lovies, as opposed to speeding the roll-out . . . If that’s what you’re interested in as an ordinary consumer.
    The King’s clothes sre missing.

    1. 125us says:

      Is they why they have the highest speeds and the greatest coverage and are the largest operator?

  15. Nick Roberts says:

    Dawlish also happens to be an easy hit installation . . Being next door to the Exe estuary its as flat as . . . And the only buildings are caravans and Park Homes.

    Whereas down the road jn Teignmouth/Torbay it gets hillyer, with more buildings.

    In these circumstances how could BT Kiosks, as a mobile repeater source, have an advantage over mobile towers . . Difficult one . . Err not.

  16. Nick Roberts says:

    Recalling their recent triumphs with the blank design sheet handed to them on a plate by the advent of electric propulsion, my guess is that the telecomms industry shares its recruitment pool with the motor industry

  17. MS says:

    Was in Scarborough today and 4G was unusable along the entire seafront. Had to switch to 3G to get any form of usable data (and that was painful enough. So good news about the upgrade!

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