EE has revealed that its ever-expanding 4G network has pushed the company towards strong growth in its latest set of financial results.
The operator has revealed that it added 1.3 million new customers during its second financial quarter, which it claims is the best performance ever by a European operator.
The company now has 4.2 million customers on 4G, and expects this to rise to around 6m by the end of the year - 45% higher than last quarter and a 500% growth rate over the previous year.
Thanks to a major push over the last year, over 73% of the UK population has access to EE's 4G network, which covers 229 towns and cities as well as 2,588 rural villages, with the company aiming to further improve that over the next few months. The company announced it plans to extend double speed 4G to a total of 40 cities by the end of the year.
EE also reported that 72% of its new postpaid customers chose a 4G-enabled price plans, including 88% of new B2B customers. It now has over 5,500 corporate accounts using its 4GEE services, with several major new account wins, including the likes of Deloitte and the Essex Police.
Almost a third of new or renewing customers chose a 4G contract, the company revealed, saying that it was encouraged by the strong early growth of its low-cost own-brand Kestrel mobile devices. The company said that its consumer/B2B postpaid churn improved to 1.1% as more customers opted to upgrade their existing contracts.
Overall, EE's network had 30.8 million users at the end of June, including 3.67 million MVNO customers, up 4.1% on last year. The operator added 240,000 postpaid mobile customers in the second quarter, including those using M2M service, but its prepaid customer base fell by 202,000.
Despite this overall expansion, however, the company's quarterly revenues fell 2.5% compared to last year, down to £1.56bn, as operating revenues fell by 1.3% following regulatory impact.
"Today's results demonstrate that consumers and businesses are responding to our strategy to provide the UK's biggest, fastest and most reliable network," EE CEO Olaf Swantee said of the results.
"We are delivering on our goals to rapidly transition our pay monthly customer base to 4G, generate significant merger cost savings and improve our EBITDA margin performance."