The 4G network is here, as Everything Everywhere officially launches its superfast network – and rebrands itself as EE.
At a press conference in the Science Museum, the conglomerate network announced its new name and confirmed that 4G internet and services will roll out in the coming weeks.
London, Cardiff, Birmingham and Bristol will be the first cities to benefit from the rollout, as sites of live testing by EE engineers. By the end of the year, 4G coverage will roll out in 16 cities, continuing in 2013 to cover 70% of the UK, with 98% of the UK 4G-capable by the end of 2014.
We can expect speeds five times faster than 3G, said EE CEO Olaf Swantree, meaning HD movies can be downloaded 'in minutes', the ability to stream TV without buffering and generally speedier downloads.
As for the company’s other brands, Orange and T-Mobile, both will continue alongside the new EE network, though through some trickery they will only offer 3G speeds. 'Orange is for customers who want more - extra rewards, and the fastest 3G speed in the country. T-Mobile is for customers who want straightforward service,' said Swantree.
However, in a feint at pushing the EE brand, users on Orange or T-Mobile phones will soon see an ‘EE’ network indicator on their devices, rather than the current ‘Orange/T-Mobile’.
There was no official announcement on which 4G phones will launch on the EE network but a quick moving slide showed the Nokia Lumia 920, Samsung Galaxy S III and what looked like the HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy Nexus, along with a couple of Huawei-branded modems that will offer superfast fibre internet also on the 4G speeds.
EE switched on the 4G internet as of today, 11 September, and 4G services will launch in the next few weeks.