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EE announces further UK 4G rollout

EE to switch on 4G in 17 towns and cities by March 2013

4G smartphone

EE, formally Everything Everywhere, has announced a further 17 towns and cities across the UK will get 4G LTE next year.

The UK's only 4G network will switch on 4G mobile broadband in 17 more towns and cities by March 2013. The announcement comes after EE brought 4G to Derby, Newcastle and Nottingham last week. See: What is 4G? A complete guide to 4G.

Olaf Swantee, CEO of EE, said: "By the end of the first quarter of 2013, 4G will be available in 35 towns and cities across the UK, making superfast mobile accessible to thousands more customers and businesses every day."

EE 4G data allowances are too small

The 17 strong list of towns and cities consists of: Bradford, Chelmsford, Coventry, Doncaster, Dudley, Leicester, Luton, Newport, Reading, Rotherham, St Albans, Sunderland, Sutton Coldfield, Walsall, Watford, West Bromwich and Wolverhampton.

"We’re delighted with the progress of the 4G rollout – we are improving the network every day, delivering superfast mobile to more and more people right across metropolitan areas, whether they’re using their devices outdoors or in their homes and offices. This has struck a chord with businesses in particular, with great demand being seen. We’re delighted to already be powering large, medium and small businesses with 4G."

EE said that Belfast, Hull, Maidenhead and Slough will be switched on before the end of the year bringing the total to 18, ahead of the firm's estimated schedule of 16.

The mobile operator also said that network density (the number of masts in an area) is increasing on a daily basis. EE claims the average download speed on its 4G LTE network is 17Mbps – higher than the estimate of 8-12Mbps quoted before launch. However, the average speed indoors is lower at 9.7Mbps. See also: 4G vs 3G network hands-on speed test.

If you haven't forked out for 4G yet, then there's good news because EE has been improving its 3G network. It said that 40 percent of it will be upgraded to DC-HSPA (up to 42Mbps) by the end of 2012.

Follow Chris Martin and @PCAdvisor on Twitter.

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