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EE lights up 4G LTE roaming in China

UK mobile operator EE has become the first British network to offer 4G LTE roaming coverage in mainland China.

The carrier's list of 4G roaming countries has not yet been updated to reflect the change, however we've been seeing solid LTE coverage through China Unicom on our EE SIMs in the Beijing area in recent days. Unicom operates FDD-LTE — the flavor of 4G used by most Western networks — on Band 3, which also happens to be EE's main LTE band at home. Its main rivals, China Mobile and China Telecom, only use TDD-LTE frequencies, which are incompatible with most 4G phones sold in Europe. So naturally, the Unicom pair-up makes most sense for a Euro network like EE.

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UK mobile operator EE today announced plans to invest £1.5 billion in network improvements over the next three years, with the aim to deliver 4G to more than 99% of the population. The company also plans to roll out double-speed 4G to 90% of the UK by 2017. The plan is the result of pressure from the UK government for operators to tackle signal 'not spots'.

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BT today announced that the company had agreed definitive terms to acquire UK mobile operator EE, the largest mobile network in the country, for £12.5 billion ($19 billion). Talks between the two parties have been well under way since late last year. A combination of cash and new ordinary shares will enable BT to make the purchase, absorbing 31 million subscribers in the UK.

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Customers of UK mobile operator EE are to receive a share of around £1 million after they were wrongly charged VAT. Those who happened to be outside the EU and used data on their plans between October 2012 and October 2014 were affected by a "billing system error." It's reported that 0.5 percent of EE customers were overcharged.

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The UK government has managed to reach an agreement with local operators to work on the issue of nationwide 'not-spots': areas restricting access to basic mobile functions due to weak signal coverage. EE, O2, Three and Vodafone will invest a guaranteed £5 billion to improve mobile infrastructure by 2017 with the aim to provide 90 per cent of the UK with both voice and text coverage.

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British Telecom has confirmed it has "entered into an exclusivity agreement with Deutsche Telekom and Orange" which could lead to BT acquiring the wireless carrier EE for about £12.5 billion. This means that the UK's largest land line and broadband company could buy the country's biggest mobile phone carrier.

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EE will be scrapping the Orange Wednesday 2-for-1 cinema ticket deal after being available for a decade. Customers of Orange (and subsequently EE) have enjoyed a weekly deal that allowed them to head down to their local cinema to check out the latest blockbusters at a reduced price. This offer will no longer be available after February 2015, but the carrier stresses they are working on a worthy successor. According to Marketing Magazine:

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New legislation could be in the works to effectively force UK operators to offer roaming options for customers where signal is poor. The UK government continues to work with mobile carriers on a solution to address black spots and areas where signal is hard to come by. The plan is to offer said roaming support to make it possible to switch between networks to maintain service, something mobile operators previously rejected.

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UK mobile operator EE today refreshed the company's range of 4G SIM-only plans, offering more bang for your buck when it comes to mobile data. Available from today both online and in EE stores, the new 12-month and 30-day plans offer a wider range of options for consumers looking to hop onto the 4G bandwagon, without having to fork out an extreme amount for the luxury of LTE connectivity.

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