EE extends 4G network to 95% UK – the industry reacts
Boosty discusses how 4G coverage could be combined with fixed broadband; comment from OpenCloud discusses next steps for EE with its plans to roll-out out VoLTE across the UK.
“The coming together of EE and BT already signifies great promise for UK consumers, with the availability of internet access set to improve greatly. By providing 4G to 95% of the UK landmasses by 2020, BT-EE could also take this opportunity to improve the reliability and speed of fixed broadband connectivity for its customers.
“For BT’s fixed broadband business, growing its fibre network is a difficult task, requiring considerable engineering in order to extend fibre lines to UK homes and business, which can be particularly difficult in remote or dense urban areas. Mobile phone coverage on the other hand has grown exponentially over recent years and is only set to increase.
“This trend has created an opportunity for hybrid access solutions that combine 4G with fixed line broadband, which naturally suits BT-EE given its network growth. This model creates a more resilient broadband offering for consumers, who can maintain a fast connection at all times, even in the event of a broadband outage. Customers of BT broadband and EE mobile, in particular, will be rapidly exploring how hybrid solutions could give them an enhanced broadband experience.”
– Paul Evans, CEO at Boosty
“It will be pleasing for EE’s customers to see that its plans to extend its UK network also coincide with plans to improve its voice service offering – rolling out VoLTE across the UK. Delivering VoLTE gives the operator the opportunity to improve the customer experience by offering superior voice and video quality, faster set-up times and enhanced voice services, as well as delivering network spectrum efficiencies.
“However, in order to deliver the benefits of VoLTE, EE will have to focus efforts on a smooth transition of the services in the circuit switch network to the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) network. These are still many services delivered on the circuit switch that businesses and consumers worldwide use, often without being aware that they are separate network services, such as various voicemail services, number translation, least-cost routing and mobile roaming. Equivalent services must also be available for customers using VoLTE.
“EE will probably want to re-implement many of these services in due course, but until it does so, their absence in the IMS network will act as a brake on customer migration. An evolutionary transformation of the service layer by providing access to the existing services whilst transforming the network could be a good option for EE as it transitions to VoLTE, with no negative effect on the subscriber.”
– Jonathan Bell, VP Marketing, OpenCloud