EE launched its new Double Speed 4G this morning, which boosts UK’s 4G network to the best global speeds, alongside other new initiatives including shared data plans that allow you to share your 4G connection with your family.
From tomorrow morning, twelve cities will now get mobile broadband speeds of up to 150 MBPS (average speeds of 24-30 MBPS) at no extra cost, whether you’re an existing or brand new EE customer. These are: Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Derby, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Nottingham, Sheffield.
When citing the reasons behind this double speed, EE CEO Olaf Swantee stated the usual reasons such as silky smooth HD movie streaming, but also stated ‘because we can’. These peak speeds should put UK 4G in line with the fastest global networks, including those in Korea.
EE also explained its new Summer Promotion, which provides double speed 4G and bigger data allowances (double, triple or even quadruple the standard contract allowances) to new customers signing up before the end of September. The lowest tariff is £26 a month for 24 months, for 500MB, rising to £51 a month for 20GB.
Don't worry if you've just signed up for an EE contract or you've been a loyal customer since day one, because you still have the chance to get involved. EE will let you bag one of the new extra-data contracts without extending it to a fresh 24 months, with the only stipulation being that you upgrade to a more expensive tariff. If you're on the £36 bog-standard 500MB deal, that means just £5 extra a month will give you a massive boost in data allowance, so you won't need to keep constant tabs on your usage.
Share the 4G love
EE also introduced shared 4G plans for up to five users from July 17th, which are aimed at couples, families and shared homes. A lead sharer bears the brunt of the contract (picking from five different plans beginning at £31 a month), and additional sharers can be added from just £5 extra (for a SIM-only tablet plan), added to the lead sharer’s bill. Of course, if you want calls, texts and a handset, you'll have to stump up more. SIM-only texts, calls and so on will cost you from £12 a month while throwing in a 4G enabled handset increases it to £22 a month.
Data allowances up to 20GB are available and everyone gets an alert if the data allowance is almost hit, in case one of the sharers suddenly decides to download every JCVD movie in glorious rib-kicking HD. New sharers can be added at any time, giving good flexibility if some members of your household still have a while to go on their existing contracts.
Meanwhile, the EE Bright Box 2 is a home Wi-Fi device that allows you to share your 4G connection with other connected devices. The Bright Box 2 apparently doubles the speed of in-house Wi-Fi, and gives a stable connection.
Last but not least
EE also launched its new ‘cash on tap’ mobile payment service, which allows users with NFC-enabled phones to pay for goods and services with their mobile. This will be accepted in over 230,000 UK outlets (including Greggs, which should make hungover grease-lovers like ourselves happy) and can be used to make secure payments of up to £20.
Olaf took the opportunity to big up how EE is the fastest, biggest and ‘undoubtedly the best’ UK network right now, with mobile broadband speeds that even beat New York. EE is hoping for 98% UK coverage by the end of 2014.