EE says its 4G mobile service will be switched on in a further 17 towns and cities by March 2013.

In the first three months of 2013 4G will be launched in Bradford, Chelmsford, Coventry, Doncaster, Dudley, Leicester, Luton, Newport, Reading, Rotherham, St Albans, Sunderland, Sutton Coldfield, Walsall, Watford, West Bromwich and Wolverhampton.

Last week 4G was switched on in Derby, Newcastle and Nottingham. Belfast, Hull, Maidenhead and Slough will be switched on before the end of 2012.

On launch earlier this year the 4G service was available in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield and Southampton.

Ofcom will hold its 4G spectrum auctions in 2013 to allow the other mobile operators to launch their own 4G services. EE, which owns the Orange and T-Mobile brands, was able to launch 4G ahead of its rivals by using some of the spectrum it won in the 3G spectrum auctions 12 years ago.

4G mobile is around five times faster than 3G. Olaf Swantee, CEO of EE, said, "4G has struck a chord with businesses in particular, with great demand being seen. We’re already powering large, medium and small businesses with 4G."