An impending report by network monitoring company RootMetrics will highlight a decline in performance for those using the EE 4G mobile network. It seems that the UK's first 4G network has started to become a victim of its own success to some degree, reports PC Pro magazine.
RootMetrics surmised back in March that EE offered the UK's fastest and most reliable mobile network, but since that time network congestion has started to kick in, analysts postulate. In an interview with PC Pro, RootMetrics CEO, Bill Moore said "We've started to see some EE slow down... and we're seeing a speed up on all the other networks because they've [now] got LTE".
US history repeats
Moore also suggested that what we are seeing here is almost identical to what happened in the US marketplace. An early 4G/LTE leader got ahead in the market there, but then became saturated with users hungry for the faster data speeds. Meanwhile competitors started to launch their own faster networks and overtook the initial leader.
We do have the capacity – EE
EE has made a statement in the light of the RootMetrics report and said that it has spectrum available to make room for new customers as they move to the EE network. It asserts that the launch of double speed 4G last year was in acknowledgement of the possibility of an upcoming slowdown. Also EE points out that in London it will be introducing 'carrier aggregation' to bring speeds as high as 300Mbits/sec.
While we worry about the 4G/LTE slowdown it seems that EE has plans are in place to commercially launch 5G services sometime shortly after 2020. By that time EE expects to be faced with twelve times the mobile traffic that it handles today, so it won't be too soon.
We all know online video makes mincemeat of our data plans in current times. Interestingly EE predicts that online gaming and augmented reality will account for 68 per cent of non-video data usage in the future.
UPDATE: RootMetrics will be issuing its report tonight/tomorrow - the source of the EE network congestion indications was a pre-report PCPro interview with the RootMetrics CEO.