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EE customers will be able to sign up for 4G share plans later this summer, the carrier has confirmed, as it bids to press home its first-mover advantage before rivals entering the market later this year.

The share plans will allow subscribers to share their monthly 4G allowance between tablets, laptops and smartphones and between individuals in a household, in a move that could make 4G much more of a viable proposition for cost-conscious consumers.

EE has also announced plans to roll out double-speed 4g. Scheduled to arrive in a matter of weeks, this will boost the maximum 4G speed its network offers from 30Mbps to 80Mbps and will arrive initially in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Sheffield

The existing 4G network, meanwhile, is purportedly on course to serve 55 per cent of the UK by the end of June and is expected to cover 98 per cent towards the end of 2014.

Olaf Swantee, CEO of EE, said: “Last year we launched the UK’s first superfast 4G and fibre network. Since then we’ve worked relentlessly to increase the breadth and depth of our reach.

"By the end of June, we will have rolled out 4G across 55 per cent of the population, and will continue to switch on new towns and cities. And with commuters spending an average of 75 minutes travelling every day, EE will also roll out 4G across the busiest airports, commuter routes and shopping centres across the UK, powering the areas that matter most to Britain.

"We recognise that with 4G, customers connect to the things they care about more frequently, across more devices. Our Shared 4GEE plans and Pay as You Go 4GEE Mobile Broadband will offer our customers more ways to do this."

EE's 4G subscriber base now stands at 500,000, after launching seven months ago.

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