The commitment forms part of the Shared Rural Network (SRN) programme – an agreement between the UK’s four mobile network operators and UK Government – agreed last year.
The SRN programme aims to extend 4G coverage to 95% of the UK’s geography by 2025.
The upgrades announced are part of the first phase of the SRN programme, where EE will invest to significantly reduce ‘partial not-spots’ in mobile coverage.
EE has already upgraded its 4G network in 20 rural locations across the North East since the SRN deal was signed in March 2020.
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Now, EE has pledged to extend 4G in a further 52 locations in the region, bringing the total to 72 in this phase of the programme.
All sites have been made available for other operators to share under the SRN scheme.
Philip Jansen, chief executive of BT Group, said: “We’ve made a renewed commitment to boost rural connectivity, helping improve mobile performance regardless of location.
"The investment BT has made in rural areas means we have the infrastructure in place to extend our 4G coverage footprint even further, minimising the number of new sites we need to build to ensure everyone has access to reliable connectivity.
“EE is still the only provider of 4G coverage in many places across the UK, and we encourage other operators to recognise the opportunity sharing our sites offers to fill gaps in their networks.”
UK Government Digital Infrastructure Minister Julia Lopez said: "We know the incredible impact better connectivity will have on countryside communities. That's why we struck a £1 billion deal, jointly funded by the government and mobile firms, to bring fast and reliable 4G mobile coverage to 95 per cent of the UK.
“EE's plans show good progress and will increase choice for consumers and boost productivity in rural areas. We will continue to work closely with them to close down further gaps in rural mobile signal.”