Olaf Swantee, head honcho at Everything Everywhere, today formally announced the launch of 4G mobile phone services from the company that comprises the Orange and T-Mobile brands.
16 cities will have 4G access by the end of this year with 98% 4G coverage (population coverage rather than landmass coverage) promised by 2014. The following 4 cities are set to roll out 4G coverage in the next few weeks:
4G will be launched under a new brand that replaces Everything Everywhere. The brand agency must have spent literally minutes (and hundreds of thousands of pounds in consultancy fees) coming up with this one. Wait for it… ’Everything Everyone’ will become ‘EE’. Jubilympics anyone?
The launch announcement itself made me feel a strong sensation of déjà vu. The main benefits of 4G, according to Olaf, included watching live tv (without buffering), downloading email attachments quicker than ever and video conferencing on the move. Isn’t that exactly what the operators promised us all in fantastical ad campaigns back at the launch of 3G in the UK nearly ten years ago?
It actually took several more years and the launch of the iPhone to deliver the breakthrough moment in the adoption of data-rich applications on a mobile phone – the smartphone era. And don’t forget… the original iPhone was actually a 2G product – it didn’t even have 3G.
Don’t get carried away with hype. 4G is a good step forward and it will become the norm in the next five years but it’s an evolutionary step forwards not a revolutionary change for us normos.
Oh, and if EE expects everyone to bin their iPhone’s and Androids in favour of a Nokia Lumia to get 4G access… they really are back in the land of 3G fantasy.