BUSINESSES will see a “transformational” boost from a new superfast mobile Internet service being launched in Southampton .

Everything Everywhere (EE), the UK’s largest mobile network, which owns the T-Mobile and Orange networks, said its new 4G service will offer speeds of up to five times the existing 3G technology.

Martin Stiven, vice-president of business to business at EE, told the Daily Echo it was going to be “transformational in the way a lot of businesses work”, creating new opportunities, improved efficiency and productivity.

The faster service will be launched in Southampton and 15 other cities by Christmas, and to 98 per cent of the population by 2014.

Mr Stiven said the 4G service would not be priced as a “niche high-cost product” and would be targeted at mass adoption. Details will be announced in coming weeks.

He said the technology could also start to replace fixed line slower broadband in rural areas.

EE will launch its 4G service on its existing spectrum, and Mr Stiven said existing 3G users should not see their |service depreciate.

According to estimates, the use of 4G technology will save employees already using mobile Internet an 37 million hours a year that they would have spent waiting for data to download over slower technology.

Mr Stiven said EE would press ahead with its plans after getting the go-ahead from Ofcom, despite the threat of legal action from rivals.

They are angry at having to wait for a £4 billion auction for a new spectrum for 4G planned by the Government for next year. Other countries, such as the US and Germany, have already launched 4G networks.

Talks between the telecoms operators and regulators are taking place to avert legal action.