EE has announced it is the first European operator to surpass the 10 million 4G customer landmark. To mark the occasion, EE has released its latest 4GEE Mobile Living Index, which has analysed EE’s 4G mobile data use and customer trends since early 2013.
With customer numbers and data usage growing at the current rate, EE predicts that a colossal amount of data, at least a one Exabyte of data (1,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes), will be carried across the network per year by 2018. This is triple the amount of data the network carries today, 16 times more than over the 3G network in 2012. This is the equivalent of streaming 38,000 years of HD films.
The increase in data is being fuelled by video and social media (now representing 51% of data on the network), as well as by new industries and sectors looking towards mobile connectivity to better serve businesses and consumers.
The EEMLI shows a 63% rise in the use of health-related apps on the network since August last year, as more reliable connectivity encourages people to use their phones in new ways:
•More than one in four customers use some form of mHealth monitoring, from calorie counting to tracking blood pressure.
•Nearly 50% would happily conduct video consultations with GPs rather than visiting the surgery in person. EE already works with the NHS Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group who securely transmit images of patients’ moles and skin lesions to a team of skin specialists for rapid diagnosis via 4G. This drastically reduces the pressure on secondary care (74% of patients who had images submitted have not needed further treatment / assessment)
•Two in three customers say they would like the opportunity to manage their prescriptions via their mobile devices
4G Data Growth
For the first time on the EE network, total 4G traffic has now passed 3G traffic as coverage reaches new places. Rural areas are benefiting significantly. Since the introduction of 4G, data usage in rural parts of Scotland has increased 60%, usage in rural Wales is up 50%, and data in the South West of England is up 49%.
Olaf Swantee, EE’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “EE pioneered 4G in the UK and we’re determined to keep the country at the forefront of innovation. We were the first to launch 4G+, and the first to introduce WiFi Calling in the UK. We are bringing our 4G network coverage to where it is needed most – enhancing the quality of life of people who live in the most rural and underserved parts of the country. Our network advances have truly unlocked the power of the mobile internet, so much so that customer usage is doubling and we predict our 4G network, built for capacity, will comfortably handle more than an Exabyte of data per year by 2018.
“People are using 4G to change how they live and work, and one of the most exciting areas to watch is healthcare, which looks set to be transformed by access to superfast 4G.”