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EE unveils 4G LTE pricing ahead of launch

Alex Masters

EE 300x225 EE unveils 4G LTE pricing ahead of launchEE, the UK’s first 4G equipped mobile network, has officially announced its LTE price plans for UK customers. The comprehensive list of tariffs, catering for smartphones, mobile broadband and home fibre access, are now available via EE’s official website.

Smartphone prices start at £36 for a measly 500MB of data per month, increasing in £5 increments all the way up to £56, at which point you’ll get 8GB of data, the maximum data allowance they currently offer. These prices are based on 24 month contracts, for 12 month contracts add an extra £10 to the price of your selected plan.

Each plan comes with unlimited calls and texts, plus international roaming (excluding data) for an extra £5 per month. Thankfully, the smartphone tariffs all come with access to BT WiFi internet hotspots, so you can offload some of your data usage that way. You’ll also need it when you’re not within 4G LTE range, which will likely be a regular occurrence if you travel outside of the 12 4G equipped cities currently available.

As a nice added bonus, EE will be offering a free ‘EE Film’ movie rental each week to its 4G subscribers until the end of February 2013. Each movie can be accessed via your smartphone, tablet, laptop or PC, and movie downloads will not count towards your data allowance. This is good news as four HD movies will consume around 3GB of data on their own.

This gives a good indication of how little data you are getting for your money. The average size of a 60-minute BBC iPlayer programme for example is 600MB at standard definition, and 1.1GB in high definition. As you can see, it’s not going to take long to burn through your data allowance if you consume video content on your smartphone or 4G dongle.

There are no unlimited data options of any kind when it comes to EE’s LTE access. Even the mobile broadband tariffs, both consumer and business, are capped at 5GB. If you want add any additional data, it’ll cost you £6 per 500MB or £15 per 2GB. If you’ve been holding out for 4G LTE access on your laptop, then you’ll really need to keep a keen eye on your data usage. The 5GB will disappear very quickly if you’re using it as your main source for internet access.

We’ll have to wait until the likes of O2 and Three roll out their own 4G LTE networks later next year before prices drop and data allowances increase. Until then I would suggest sticking with 3G and signing up for a unlimited data plan.

Unless 4G speeds are essential to your business, there’s really no point in shelling out for a 4G handset or PC dongle.

For full 4G pricing details and handset options visit ee.co.uk

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  • angrydave

    As an Orange/EE customer I find it odd that they are very keen to sign me up to the 4G service whilst knowing that I have a phone which will not work on the 4G network! They have also steadfastly refused to allow me to upgrade my phone to one that will work on 4G yet remain intent on me signing up for 4G.

  • http://gplus.to/alexmasters Alex Masters

    On the EE site they state that you can upgrade your recently purchased handset for a 4G equivalent, for a £99 fee. I imagine that is why they have been refusing to upgrade you thus far. That is a hefty fee.

  • angrydave

    Thanks for that Alex, I must admit that I’d missed that one. And you’re right it is a hefty fee.

  • http://twitter.com/mark_benson Mark Benson

    Seems like mobile phone companies think that Moores Law applies to their profit margins rather than it being a case of technology delivering more for the same price. These tarrifs seem like really poor value compared with 3G equivalents, which is odd considering that 3G is the best that customers will be getting in most places for some considerable time to come regardless of how much they pay or what phone they have. Looks like they are aimed at gullible early adopters or city workers whose company is paying the bill.

  • http://twitter.com/DominicBrouard Dominic Brouard

    A real shame, 4G could open the door to real portable fast internet, that creates all sorts of large scale data transfer, streaming, and browsing on the go. But the cost is preventative. Unlimited texts and calls are of less use now than they ever were. I would like to use my phone for more than I do, but because of data caps and restrictive speeds I either can’t or don’t as a rule. That doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t if the speed was there and the data caps were not a restriction. Certainly won’t be jumping on the 4G bandwagon this year!


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