Everything Everywhere announces UK’s first 4G LTE network starting today
As expected, Everything Everywhere have today announced their timeline for 4G LTE rollout here in the UK, starting with a selection of 16 major cities by the end of this year and expanding to cover up to 70% of the UK by the end of 2013.
Testing of the next generation mobile network technology will start immediately with Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff and London all running pilot LTE networks starting today.
Once these initial four pilot cities are up and running, Everything Everywhere aims to switch on LTE networks across an additional 12 major cities by the end of 2012, reaching a total of 20 million people. These will be Belfast, Derby, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield and Southampton.
During this morning’s announcements, Everything Everywhere rebranded themselves as ‘EE’. They will be a brand that will, according to their press release: ‘stand alongside Orange and T-Mobile’, the two networks that make up EE. Both Orange and T-Mobile will become part of the EE brand starting today.
Naturally, customers will need LTE capable handsets to take advantage of this next generation of mobile internet access. As previously announced, the LTE capable Nokia Lumia 920, running Windows Phone 8, will be exclusive to EE and has been tipped for a November release. The Lumia 820 will also join the Windows Phone 8 LTE line up at a more affordable price for customers with smaller budgets.
Heading up the Android LTE devices will be the Samsung Galaxy S III and the HTC One XL, with a budget-friendly Huawei Ascend P1 also joining the ranks. As for news of an LTE equipped iPhone 5 no official announcements have so far been made. Although hints from EE’s CEO Olaf Swantee about another new LTE device coming ‘very soon’ appear to suggest the possibility of an LTE iPhone being announced by Apple at their iPhone keynote tomorrow.
No pricing information has been announced so far which is disappointing, as the cost of LTE will be a key factor in the rate of adoption of this new technology, within both the consumer and business markets.
EE also announced plans for a superfast fibre broadband network for homes and businesses, offering speeds up to ten times faster than average ADSL broadband speeds. This could potentially lead to combined home and mobile broadband packages that could help lower the cost of LTE data plans, as well as offering faster and cheaper fibre to the home, however no such plans have been announced as of yet.
700 ‘EE’ branded stores will be opening across the UK, no doubt replacing many of the current Orange and T-Mobile stores very soon. Customers will begin to see the networks displayed on their phones changing to ‘EE’ starting today.
Will you be signing up for LTE as soon as it’s available, or are you happy with your current 3G speeds? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.Tagged in: 4G, iphone 5, LTE, Lumia, Nokia, Orange, T-Mobile, Windows Phone 8
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