The mobile giant EE has signed up 500,000 customers for its super-fast 4G service in seven months, raising the pressure on rivals including Vodafone, which has pushed back its 4G launch until late summer.
EE, whose joint shareholders Orange and T-Mobile are eyeing a £9bn UK stock-market float, yesterday boasted it was the "fastest 4G customer take-up in Europe".
Britain's biggest mobile company got a head-start when it launched 4G last October while smaller UK rivals had to wait until the regulator Ofcom freed up more spectrum earlier this year.
4G is between five and 10 times faster than 3G, allowing phone users to view video and access large files more easily on the go.
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