EE is Switching Off Some of its 2G Airwaves and Using Them to Make 4G Stronger

By Kim Snaith on at

EE has announced this morning that its current 2G airwaves will be upgraded into 4G, giving their network an even bigger and faster reach.

Over 600 sites across the UK's major cities will be upgraded to support the latest 4G technology over the course of the next six months. The network already holds the title of the number one network for 4G reach, covering 85 per cent of the country, and so this move is a bid to strengthen that position.

The newly upgraded sites will be equipped to support 'Cat 12' and 'Cat 16' modems — the latest technology that will power the next generation of smartphones — as well as offering download speeds of up to 100Mbps instead of the current maximum speed of 50Mbps.

EE's CEO, Marc Allera, said:

"We keep investing in our network, and using our technology leadership to make sure customers are getting the most out of the latest smartphones... We're converting 2G into 4G because that's what our customers need."

So what does this mean for 2G? Well, 2G isn't being switched off entirely, so if you're still using an archaic phone that doesn't have 4G or even 3G, you'll likely still get service — it just may be time to upgrade. It could be bad news for anyone who bought into the relaunch of the Nokia 3310 earlier in the year as that handset inexplicably only supports 2G waves. Perhaps it's a sign that 2G is not long for this world. Considering most phones of the last decade support at least 3G though, the majority of people even slightly in keeping with modern technology will remain unaffected. You might just want to double-check what mobile phone your grandparents are using, though.


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