The UK’s Virgin Media Business says it has launched a 4G service aimed at private- and public-sector organizations over the network of mobile market leader EE.
A joint venture between Deutsche Telekom (Bonn, Germany) and France Telecom (Paris, France), EE (Hatfield, UK) has been investing heavily in the rollout of its 4G network, which now covers about 60% of the UK population, according to Virgin’s statement.
The Virgin (Hook, UK) service will offer a number of features to customers, including mobile email services, online portals for support and billing and telephone support for users and customer administrators.
Virgin also notes that a variety of handsets will support 4G connectivity, including devices from Samsung (Seoul, South Korea), BlackBerry (Waterloo, Canada) and Apple (Cupertino, CA, USA) and smartphones running both Windows Mobile and Android operating systems.
“We’re simplifying things for our customers by being the single supplier for all their telecoms needs,” said Duncan Higgins, the director of products and marketing for Virgin Media Business. “EE’s 4G experience over the past ten months clearly illustrates the benefits of the technology and their 4G network coverage is unrivalled in the UK.”
EE launched 4G services at the end of October 2012 and had a monopoly in the market until last month, when both Telefonica (Slough, UK) and Vodafone (Newbury, UK) unveiled rival offers.
Despite losing its privileged position, however, EE can boast a more extensive 4G network than the UK’s other operators and also owns more 4G spectrum than its competitors, allowing it more easily to support higher-speed services for its 4G customers.
News of a wholesale tie-up between EE and Virgin broke last week, when the UK’s Financial Times newspaper said EE had won a five-year deal with Virgin valued at approximately £300 million ($473 million).
EE has also recently won a contract with supermarket chain Asda (Leeds, UK), which had previously relied on Vodafone’s network to provide mobile virtual network operator services.
Asda said it wanted to take advantage of “a bigger and faster network” in explaining its reasons for switching provider.