The phone is up for pre-order on all of the UK's major networks - EE, Three UK, Vodafone, O2, Orange, and T-Mobile - as well as Carphone Warehouse, Phones4u, and Amazon. Don't know which network to go with? Let's break it down for you...
The following nine towns and cities will see 4G service turned on today:
As Everything Everwhere's monopoly over 4G in the UK will soon be coming to an end, following successful bids for spectrum by all of the major mobile carriers in the country, the network is continuing to aggressively rollout its service to as many people as possible, promising 4G in 72 towns and cities by summer 2013.
Say what you will about the sorry state of broadband in the US, we were one of the first to have large-scale LTE networks available to the public. It took about a year for mainland Europe to catch up, and the UK is still in the very early stages of getting their high-speed networks started. Everything Everywhere (EE) has taken the lead on the tablet front, offering the very first LTE tablet to United Kingdom wireless users: Samsung's Galaxy Note 10.1.
14 locations in the UK, including London, Manchester, and Glasgow, have been enjoying the fast speeds provided by the network since its rollout earlier this year, and they will soon be joined by the likes of Coventry, Leicester, and Reading as the network's expansion continues.
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.
In early September, Everything Everywhere announced the UK's first 4G LTE network. Simply called EE, the company plans to bring blazing-fast LTE to 16 UK cities before the end of 2012, but - until now - there was nary a word on pricing.
The company will be using a tiered approach in its 4G offering, with each bundle including unlimited voice and text:
As you can see, device prices vary according to which data bundle is chosen (take notes, US carriers), with high-end devices like the Galaxy Note II going for a mere £30 with an 8GB plan.
That means that if you're an Orange or T-Mobile customer, you can now buy the Samsung Galaxy S III LTE, HTC One XL, or Huawei Ascend P1 LTE on contract to ensure that you're ahead of the game before 4G goes live in the UK at the end of this month.
It looks like mobile device users in the UK can expect 4G services to begin rolling out a bit sooner than previously expected – six months sooner, to be specific.
The Wallstreet Journal reported Tuesday that the UK government has struck a deal with the UK's four largest mobile operators which will enable the auction of 4G mobile spectrum to begin at the end of 2012, with bidding beginning in early 2013.
The new network will launch as 'EE', and will run alongside Orange and T-Mobile. London, Birmingham, Cardiff, and Bristol will be the first four cities with 4G capability, with testing starting in those areas today. Before the end of the year, that list will include Belfast, Derby, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham, Newcastle, Sheffield, and Southampton.
If you asked someone off the street what Everything Everywhere was, they probably wouldn't have a clue what you were talking about. The company is yet to establish its own brand presence in the UK, but it's certainly busy setting things up behind the scenes.
For those of you who don't know, the company has been around for a while, ever since the merger of T-Mobile and Orange. Just last week, we learnt that the network would be the first to launch 4G in the UK, and now it's partnered with MasterCard to offer NFC payments on its devices in a 5-year deal.