EE has announced it will spend €325 million on upgrading mobile voice services next year as it bids to set a new benchmark for voice call quality and reliability.
 
The UK mobile operator promised to upgrade over 5,000 old 2G sites, increase capacity on 5,500 3G sites and trial VoLTE and voice over Wi-Fi services.
 
This latest investment builds on the 6,000 2G sites and 1,600 3G sites it is upgrading currently as part of a previously announced €1.8 billion investment plan.
 
In total, EE said voice would be the recipient of over a third of this total investment as it targets its highest ever call success rate and a dropped call rate of 0.5 percent by the end of 2014.
 
“While we consistently outperform on the standard UK benchmark for voice call quality and reliability, I don’t believe the benchmark is right,” commented CEO Olaf Swantee. 
 
“I think the UK mobile industry can do better, and we intend to improve the experience for our customers, taking our quality and reliability to levels to those achieved by other operators across Europe.”
 
The CEO said he was “proud” that EE reached its highest ever call success rate - 99.2 percent – despite the volume of calls on its network increasing by 25 percent since the beginning of 2012.
 
But he added” We can go even further. For the majority of our customers, being able to make a phone call when they need to is still the vital aspect of the mobile experience. 
 
“Innovative, high-speed data services receive most of the attention in the mobile industry as they are changing the way people communicate, connect, trade and interact. However, we know that call reliability is essential for our customers.”
 
Last month, Swantee said the new benchmark he wanted to aim for is “something near the five nine’s of the software world”.
 
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