EE (Everything Everywhere) will be launching the UK’s first 4G LTE network by the end of the year. The cities to get LTE by the end of 2012 are London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Derby, Glasgow, Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield and Southampton. This covers a third of the population and more areas will follow in 2013.
The new network will be called EE. Orange and T-Mobile tariffs will remain as they are for the time being. High street stores will rebrand as EE this year, which implies that Orange and T-Mobile tariffs are likely to be consolidated into the EE name at some point.
The launch will be supported by five handsets: Nokia Lumia 920, Nokia Lumia 820, HTC One XL (LTE version of One X), Huawei Ascend P1 LTE and Samsung Galaxy S III LTE. It’s expected that the iPhone 5 will also join this list.
EE will offer LTE mobile broadband with a Huawei USB dongle or MiFi device. This could be a real alternative to home broadband for some, depending on cost and whether LTE covers areas where fibre or a decent ADSL connection isn’t available. In addition, EE will offer a fixed line fibre product with an average 58.5Mbps. They will offer a discount to customers who take both products, as they do now with their ADSL and mobile packages.
It will be interesting to see what other products and services emerge from this new technology.