EE is chasing down individual complaints about its 4G network through social networks and call centres, as it speeds up the implementation of the service and increases its density.
The operator privately admits to a difficult initial implementation of the technology but said it was pleased with the take-up of 4G, with sign-ups in line with expectations.
It also noted any customer problems are far less severe compared with those experienced when 3G went live last decade. EE is speeding up the rate at which it is rolling out 4G, eyeing 35 4G-ready cities by the end of the first quarter next year. EE’s director of network services Tom Bennett said: ‘This is the fastest project that we have ever done and from a trade perspective, it’s one of the fastest [4G] rollouts in the world.’
Bennett said that for a city to be deemed 4G, it must offer coverage for at least 80% of the city limits and 100% of the town centre. He accepted the operator had received complaints about the breadth of coverage. Tests by Mobile showed a steady 4G reception in Soho, central London, but no connection in Liverpool Street. Bennett said: ‘Someone with that performance is something that we will look at in detail. We do chase down outages when we see them on the likes of Twitter. A team chases through individual feedback. We have every intention of running the best network in the country.’
Bennett said the operator is working to fill in the gaps in coverage among 4G-ready cities, with breadth of coverage as important as where it was present. However, he said the operator had no plans to bring forward its target of covering 98% of the UK by the end of 2014. He said: ‘98% is one hell of a task. The people across the team are pulling out miracles on a daily basis. It’s a significant undertaking and we have between 3,000 and 4,000 people [working] in managed service partners.’