Six months ahead of all competitors, EE - a joint-venture between Orange and T-Mobile - is launching the UK's first LTE network today. The initial launch rollout will cover 11 major cities: Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Sheffield, and Southampton.

EE is promising at least 2,000 square miles of coverage expansion every month (which is probably a better coverage metric for the UK), with 5 more cities to be covered by year's end.

EE has a decided advantage over its competitors due to a spectrum crunch even worse than the one currently going on in the US, with T-Mobile and Orange using spectrum refarming to work around the lack of new airwaves. EE was the only carrier to get such refarm approval from Ofcom, the UK's rough equivalent of the FCC. This has allowed EE to, some argue unfairly, get out ahead of competitors.

Estimated data speeds are 8-12Mbps down and, as is the case with LTE generally, latency should drop dramatically, as well. Data tariffs are significantly above the average in the UK, and of course include unlimited calls and text. Those tiers range from 36GBP a month for 500MB, to 56GBP a month for 8GB.

via The Guardian

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • http://twitter.com/danlocker Daniel Locker

    Not worth it at all, complete rip off. Very disappointing.

  • Sean

    Vodafone/o2 will have better 4G networks when they're finally launched. Specifically Vodafone with it's recent C&W acquisition ;)

  • http://visionaforethought.wordpress.com/ Oflife

    I get as much as 7 Mbps on my '3G' Vodafone (UK) account today (advertised by the company too years ago), so if EE are pitching 4G/LTE as only 8-10 Mbps, this is NO technological leap at all or they have dumbed down the connection speed to appease content providers. The UK press is reporting that 4G offers speeds five times as fast. When all this hype started, we were promised ten times as fast. So not only has it shrunk from 10 to 5, but if I get 7 Mbps on my HSDPA connection, then the speed increase on (EE) 4G is now not even a factor of one over 3.5G speeds, it's about 25%!

    Whoopie doo!