The long awaited launch date of 4G in the UK has finally arrived! EE, the company behind Orange and T Mobile, and the only network to be licenced to operate a 4G network in the UK so far, finally pushed the button today, bringing super fast mobile internet to the people of Britain… or at least some of them!
4G will be available in 11 major cities initially (Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Sheffield and Southampton), with another 5 to be covered by Christmas (Belfast, Derby, Glasgow, Hull, Newcastle and Nottingham). The intention is that 4G will gradually be rolled out across the UK, but how long that will take is anyone’s guess. Judging by the fact that an estimated 75% of the population still can’t get a 3G signal, it could be some time.
So, will it be worth the wait? EE has promised to offer mobile internet speeds of between 8 to 12 Mbps, which is up to 5 times faster than 3G. This will allow much better quality streaming of audio, video and other content on mobile devices.
Those with 4G enables devices, and living in 4G hotspots, will be able to benefit from the improved service by switching to 4G mobile plans which start from £36 per month for 500MB of data, and unlimited free calls and SMS. However, with 500MB only equating to around 2 hours of television, in order to reap the full benefits of 4G, customers will most likely have to pay for larger packages: the largest being £51 per month for 5GB
EE are also launching mobile Wi-Fi and mobile broadband dongles, which will allow you to connect other devices, such as tablets and laptops and non-4G enabled handsets, to 4G.
Currently 4G is only available on the newly rebranded network EE (formerly Everything Everywhere), which also encompasses Orange and T Mobile, but other mobile operators such as Vodafone and O2 will be entering the throng in the new year.
The launch of 4G in the UK is certainly not before time. Thanks to lengthy legal battles between Britain’s mobile networks, the UK is relatively far behind the rest of the world in receiving fourth generation wireless services. Let’s just hope it makes up for lost time…!
For more information on EE and 4G, check out our frequently asked questions page.
What are your thoughts on 4G? Will you be upgrading? Air your views by leaving a comment below…