(Pocket-lint) - Mobile network EE is converting some of its 3G mobile spectrum into 4G in order to increase connection and data speeds in "hotspot" areas and cities around the UK.

It will be converting 500 mobile towers around the country to use the 2100MHz spectrum for 4G. It is currently used for 3G connectivity universally.

The sites which will be adapted are mainly spread around in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol, Exeter, Hull, Nottingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Cardiff and Belfast. EE customers in those locations could benefit from the switch over if they have a compatible handset.

Latest smartphones are capable, says EE, of connecting to five frequency bands at once. With the conversion of the 3G spectrum at those sites, they will offer five "carriers" for the phones to connect to, resulting in faster mobile data speeds and more reliable connection.

EE is also committed to introduce its 5G network in 2019. It is building 5G sites on top of the upgraded sites in the busiest areas. This shouldn't impact on the 4G service in those locations.

"Our customers want a fast and reliable 4G connection, and that’s what we’re working to give them. We are using the investment we made in 3G spectrum nearly 15 years ago to give customers today a great experience with the latest smartphones on 4G, and build our foundation for 5G in 2019," said CEO Marc Allera.

"We’re constantly evolving, and the customer experience of 5G will be dictated by the quality of the 4G network underneath."

Writing by Rik Henderson.