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EE launches 4G M2M network in UK

Steve Rogerson
September 16, 2015
Mobile operator EE has launched EE Connect, claimed to be the UK’s first 4G-capable dedicated M2M service. Aimed at businesses and public sector organisations, it provides real-time monitoring of all devices, automation to set and edit business rules remotely, and granular reporting for more informed decision making.
A dedicated M2M service team is also in place to support all M2M customers with expert assistance.  
From smart cities and businesses, to smart watches and wearables, analysts estimate that there will be more than 30 billion connected devices by 2020. EE Connect has been developed to provide the platform to ensure that UK businesses are a part of this booming ecosystem.
“Our business requires the best possible M2M service and support, said Mike van Bunnens, managing director at Comms365, an EE M2M customer. “EE has been a strong and dependable partner as we’ve grown, and we’ve developed new advanced connected products and services such as our fixed IP SIMs and Fibre Failover on EE’s network. EE Connect provides us with even more flexibility, giving us the ability to offer granular level support to our customers and faster, tailored M2M solutions. The strength of EE’s 4G network and EE Connect are helping us to enhance our capabilities including our popular Continuum bonded services for rapidly deployed, mission critical internet access and corporate network connectivity, ensuring that we’re able to meet customer expectations the first time, every time.”
There are currently more than two million machines communicating to each other over the EE 2G and 3G network, and EE predicts that will double to more than four million by 2017. The ability to use 4G should make M2M communications more efficient, and support scenarios that require higher bandwidth, such as remote video distribution, in-car diagnostics and entertainment, and where low latency is critical, such as driverless cars and future healthcare applications.
“Every day, the strength and reliability of our 4G network allows businesses to develop innovative connected products and services that improve our lives,” said Gerry McQuade, chief marketing officer at EE Business, “whether it’s telematics in cars that help improve driving and road safety, healthcare applications that drastically cut testing and diagnosis times, or connected infrastructure that creates smarter and more efficient public services. EE Connect provides the best M2M management capabilities, on the best network, with the best service through a dedicated support team, which together is helping businesses create the connected technologies of tomorrow.”
Customers will be able to monitor and manage connected devices remotely via EE’s control centre, providing visibility and flexibility that allows them to save time, money and make more informed business decisions. The control centre allows customers remotely to diagnose and repair issues with connected machines in the field as well as an ability to set up automation rules to increase efficiency, resilience and manageability.
The new 4G-capable M2M service is supported by EE’s commitment to invest £1.5bn in its network over the next three years, with a particular focus on rural parts of the UK. To support the inevitable growth of the IoT, EE’s 4G network will reach 90 per cent of the UK geography by the end of 2017, with high capacity 4G+ enabled in 20 of the busiest UK cities.