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EE has begun trialling ultrafast 300 Mb 4G mobile broadband, which it says will double the download speeds currently offered to its customers.

Although EE became the first broadband provider to offer 4G in the UK last year, until now it has only utilised its Long Term Evolution (LTE) based 4G infrastructure, which delivers peak internet download speeds of up to 150Mbps, also known as Category 3-4 (Release 8).

However, the new trials, which are taking place in East London's Tech City, will harness the latest Category 6 (Release 10) speeds, which represent the next level of LTE mobile technology known as LTE-Advanced (LTE-A).

The International Telecommunication Union classes this as the true standard of 4G, as speeds of more than 1 GB are theoretically possible - something EE is ultimately hoping it can use to market itself as a 4G mobile broadband leader in the UK.

A key factor in the decision is that analysts predict data usage to grow significantly over the next three years, with EE's own trend-mapping suggesting that usage will rise by 750 per cent by 2016 as consumers and companies alike conduct more of their business online.

Olaf Swantee, Chief Executive of EE, said the new trials mark the introduction of the "next age" of 4G technology to the UK.

"Our existing 4G network delivers incredible mobile data speeds and covers millions of people across the country, but we never stand still. We know that mobile data usage is going to keep increasing, and rapidly so," she added.

"The network we’re switching on today in Tech City uses the spectrum that we acquired in the Ofcom spectrum auction earlier this year, and is the first part of an infrastructure that can meet the future demands of an increasingly data-hungry nation, enabling us to stay one-step ahead of the demand."

If trials are successful and rollout remains on course, consumers will begin benefitting from the technology by summer 2014.

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