Today's a big day for high-speed mobile broadband lovers (who isn't one of those?) in the U.K., as EE has flipped the switch on the country's first 4G LTE service. The network is live in 11 cities today, which are Bristol, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Sheffield and Southampton, with plans to cover five more cities before Christmas rolls around. Looking further ahead, EE plans to expand by 2,000 square miles each month, with plans to cover 98 percent of the country by the end of 2014.
When it comes to hardware, EE's got several LTE-capable handsets listed on its website, including the Huawei Ascend P1 LTE, Nokia Lumia 820 and 920, iPhone 5, HTC One XL, Samsung Galaxy Note II and Samsung Galaxy S III. Individual 4GEE plans start out at £36.00 per month for 500MB of data and unlimited texts and calling on a 24 months plan and go up to £56.00 per month for 8GB of data usage. It's always good to see more 4G coverage rolling out around the world, and while EE's service may only currently be available in 11 cities, the company sounds like it's going to be keeping itself busy by bringing the service to several more areas over the next year or two. Any of you U.K. residents planning to hop on with EE's LTE service? If you're on the fence, you can read EE's announcement below to help sway you one way or the other.
EE LAUNCHES SUPERFAST 4G AND FIBRE FOR UK CONSUMERS AND BUSINESSES TODAY
4G mobile services available for British consumers and businesses for the first time ever today
Superfast service launches in 11major cities across the UK
4G network rollout to increase to 2,000 sq miles every month
Fibre Broadband from EE available to 11 million premises, with superfast speed typically ten times faster than standard broadband
New research reveals around three quarters of businesses (74%) are planning to adopt 4G within 12 months
30th October 2012. London. Superfast services are available for consumers and businesses for the first time ever today as EE, the UK’s most advanced digital communications company, launches its new 4G service in 11 cities.
The launch is set to offer a timely boost to the UK economy offering firms the opportunity to increase innovation, boost productivity and cut costs, as has been the experience of companies in countries such as the US, Sweden, Japan and Germanysince the technology was first introduced.
Today also marks the arrival of over 700 EE stores on high streets across the country in one of the biggest and fastest transformations in UK retail history.
Olaf Swantee, CEO at EE, said: “Today is a landmark day for our company, the UK mobile industry and, most importantly, the country’s businesses and consumers.
“But this is just the start as our 4G network will continue to grow stronger and wider by the day. We’re investing £1.5 billion in our network to be the first company to offer mobile 4G in the UK, alongside the biggest 3G network. Combined with our Fibre Broadband and revolutionary service model we have a pioneering and unique offer to customers across the UK – superfast speeds in the home, superfast speeds on the move and expert service on nearly every high street in Britain.”
The delivery of 4G and the company’s retail transformation has been underpinned by an intensive employee training programme as well as a comprehensive national IT infrastructure upgrade to ensure that EE customers receive expert service.
In its first phase, the 4G service is going live in Bristol, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Sheffield and Southampton. This will allow users to:
- Access the web on the go in an instant
- Download large email attachments quicker than ever
- Watch live TV on the move without buffering
- Download high-definition movies in minutes
- Play live multiplayer games on the go
- Make high quality video calls on the move
And today’s launch is just the start as 4G coverage from EE will expand by 2,000 square miles every month, both into new cities as well as providing denser coverage in existing areas. This means the service will be available in a further five cities before Christmas, with more cities and rural locations planned for 2013, and 98% of the population due to be covered by the end of 2014.
On average, 4G mobile coverage will be made available to around two million people in Britain every single month between now and the end of 2014, making this the fastest rollout of any UK network in history.
EE’s Fibre Broadband, typically ten times faster in homes and offices, is available to 11 million premises from today as well. Ideal for households or small businesses with multiple devices, EE Fibre Broadband offers maximum download speeds of up to 76Mbps – allowing customers to stream HDTV, play online games, watch films on demand or quickly upload or download large files.
EE, T-Mobile and Orange customers will benefit from a new level of customer service, with 10,000 EE experts trained to serve and sell to customers in a new way, designed around specific handset types. These experts can be contacted over the phone, online, or in one of the 700 newly branded EE stores on the high street and in shopping centres.
4GEE plans come with unlimited minutes and texts as well as revolutionary and exciting new services, including EE Film, Clone Phone and inclusive nationwide BT Wi-Fi.
4G and the benefits to business
The world’s first global study into 4G business benefits has been released today to mark EE’s UK launch.
The study reveals that:
- 74% of UK businesses intend to adopt 4G within 12 months
- Newcastle’s business community is showing the strongest demand for 4G, with eight out of 10 Newcastle-based firms (85%) intending to roll out the superfast mobile service within 12 months
- 78% in London plan to do the same
- CEOs and sales staff will be first in the business to use the new technology. The study noted a similar trend occurring in America.
British businesses expect 4G to help increase productivity (58%) and boost employee well-being and motivation (38%). The technology will also help firms compete through innovation - 50% want 4G so they can set up an internet connection quickly without having to wait for a fixed line to be installed. This is a boon for retailers wanting to set up a pop-up shop, or builders looking to set up a temporary office onsite.