Just like the Lionesses, our strength in depth makes 5G on EE unbeatable
By Marc Allera, CEO, BT Consumer division
With EE being lead partner of the England Women’s football team, I watched with pride as the Lionesses lifted the Euros trophy at Wembley. I was in good company – the BBC says England’s final win was watched by a peak audience of 17.4m, making it the most-watched women’s game on UK TV.
The numbers on our EE mobile network reflected that: we saw an approximately five-fold increase in BBC data traffic volume from 7pm on that balmy Sunday night. And, as the final kicked off, mobile traffic overall grew by 10 per cent.
Watching the England team throughout this tournament has reminded me that, to be the best, you must have quality and depth. While England’s starting 11 were brilliant, the whole squad played their part. It was fitting that the winning goals in the final were scored by two substitutes.
Strength in depth is important whether you are running a football team or a mobile network. Proof of our strength in depth and quality came this month, with EE being recognised as the UK’s best network by RootMetrics for the ninth year running. We’ve been named the best not just because of our individual offerings (RootMetrics rates each network on speed, data, call, text, reliability and accessibility), but because we are able to offer the best overall service to our customers too.
And a big factor in this achievement has been our unbeatable 5G, combined with our super-strength 4G network.
Topping the group
Our focus for our 5G network has been to provide both speed and reliability to more of our customers. We are providing more consistent 5G coverage across the UK. In recent tests, our median 5G download speeds came in at 150Mbps – which is a lot more than most of our competitors can say. And it’s not just our 5G customers that enjoy great speeds. In 83 per cent of cases, EE customers enjoyed the fastest speeds and when tested across 16 metropolitan areas, EE offers 50+ Mbps median download speeds in all of them – unlike our competitors (see the table below).
We are not only faster than the competition. Where we really come out on top is the quality and availability of 5G on EE. We have leading 5G availability across many major cities in the UK and we also guarantee reliable 5G coverage to more of our customers, meaning the majority get a great service while the very top will get even faster speeds We are determined to stay unbeatable, and we are continuing to invest in our network.
Hitting the target
We were proud to have been the first operator to reach 50% of the UK population with our 5G network, a year ahead of our own target, while our 5G customer base continues to grow. We have more than 7.6m 5G-ready customers, which represents an increase of 135% in the past year. We are able to provide both speed and reliability thanks to our strong fibre footprint, which is the backbone of our 5G network. In the past year alone, we’ve increased the number of mobile sites with 10Gb fibre connections to more than 4,400. This gives us improved performance and, just as importantly, it increases the reliability and areas of coverage across our UK network.
And that ensures we can meet the 5G needs of our customers day after day.
We have also launched our new 5G core, which will be fully live in 2023. I’m pleased to say our first set of customers have already been successfully migrated on to it. This is just the first step in what will be an exciting future for our 5G standalone services.
Keeping our eye on the ball
Being named the UK’s best network once again shows that our commitment to overall customer experience is being recognised. We want to continue to be known as the best network for all our customers, not just those in city centres. We won’t compromise on reliability for all by focusing on speed for the few. And we promise to continue to enhance both our 4G and 5G offerings and want to ensure that more people across the UK are able to access our networks.
We want our customers to be able to rely on our networks whenever and wherever they need it. And, like the Lionesses, we can look forward to the future together with real strength in depth.
Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @marcallera