Let's Talk EE, and their 4GEE Service (4G in the UK)

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by AtomicEdge, Sep 17, 2012.

  1. AtomicEdge, Sep 17, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2012

    AtomicEdge macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    #1
    What is EE?

    EE is a new network provider/brand by the holding company of Orange and T-Mobile, Everything Everywhere, which is owned 50/50 by France Télécom and Deutsche Telekom.

    What's the big deal?

    The EE network will share the existing infrastructure of Orange and T-Mobile, which currently covers 98.29% of the UK Population with 3G signal.

    In addition to this, in the same way Three was created to make use of (at the time) new 3G technology, EE will make use of 4G LTE technology under the product name of 4GEE.

    4G you say?! Tell me more!

    Last week EE turned on 4G LTE in London, Birmingham, Cardiff and Bristol for testing, and plan on also having 4G running in Belfast, Derby, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham, Newcastle, Sheffield and Southampton by the end of the year.

    They have said that they plan to cover 70% of the UK population with 4G signal by the end of 2013.

    Their plan is to compliment all of their 3G network with 4G by the end of 2014, meaning that 98% of people in the UK will have 4G in time for the iPhone 6!

    All in all, this roll-out of 4G is planned to cost them £1.4 Billion!

    Why is no-one else offering 4G yet?

    When Orange and T-Mobile combined networks at the end of 2010, they had lots of spare spectrum to go around. Too much in fact, and they were told they had to sell some to Three, which they did, but they still had some left over, and a ruling from Ofcom allowed them to start using that spectrum for LTE signal.

    Everyone else has to wait until next summer, when spectrum freed up from the digital switch-over becomes available to purchase. That's right, your snazzy new 4G LTE is going to use the same spectrum that you used to use to watch Blue Peter as a child.

    Other network providers are not happy about all this, but appeals have ruled in favor of EE.

    Okay, done! Sign me up!

    Soon! EE are going to announce their plans and products "In the new few weeks". Anyone with a new iPhone 5 on Orange or T-Mobile, will be given the option to shift over to EE so they can take advantage of their 4G network.

    What's the damage?

    The information currently going around is that having 4G will cost "Less than £10 extra a month".

    Keep an eye on www.ee.co.uk where you can sign up for more info when it's available. If there is the need, I will keep this thread up to date.

    Finally, a quote from Boris Johnson talking about 4G in London.

    "I barely understand it, but information will spout unstoppably from these gizmos."

    Thanks Boris.

    ----------

    I am currently on a 1 month SIM only contract with O2, but I am fed up with their rubbish signal where I work, so I am going to switch to EE when they launch.

    I'm not going to go for 4G right away, the closest pre Christmas place to me in Bournemouth is Southampton, which I go to rarely. However by being with EE, I will keep an eye out, and add 4G as soon as it's available a bit closer to home. Hopefully in the early part of 2013 (fingers crossed!).
     
  2. Azzin macrumors 68040

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    London, England.
    #2
    What's the max speed customers can expect from EE's 4G?
     
  3. miniConvert macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    #3
    EE sold the mandated amount of 1800MHz surplus spectrum to Three, not Vodafone.

    The additional costs of migrating to an EE tariff and the very limited availability in the first year will likely mean that, as far as the iPhone 5 over the next 12 months is concerned, LTE should not be a major factor in deciding which mobile network to use.

    Three generally provides a better data experience than Orange and T-Mobile at present, with lower latency and higher peak speeds. They also offer more generous data allowances (including unlimited) and tethering on some plans.

    I can see why many people will be lured to EE to try out LTE. However, objectively I seriously wouldn't allow it to form a major part of your buying decision.
     
  4. MacWorld78 macrumors member

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    Jul 25, 2012
    #4
    I really hope there will be unlimited internet package? ;)
     
  5. cperchard macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 15, 2010
    #5
    The benefits of buying the phone unlocked :) Left orange cos they were useless, going to 3.....gonna stay with them (as long as signal in my area is ok) until EE comes out in my area, which won't be for ages probably......then if they do a SIM only plan i may try them out, if not then 3 will eventually get 4G anyway so could just stay with them.

    Just like being able to move whenever i want :)
     
  6. AtomicEdge thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 23, 2009
    #6
    Tests in London at their event showed 25Mbps (5Mbps from 3G).

    Obviously that is early roll-out, but also with not many people using it.
     
  7. cperchard macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    I just hope they will offer monthly SIM only deals.....i bet they won't, but they should, they would get so many customers it's unreal!
     
  8. AtomicEdge thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 23, 2009
    #8
    Thanks for that, updated.

    I looked at Three, but they have awful signal where I work. Only the EE group cover the area well. If I am going to go with a carrier in the EE Group, I might as well go for EE. With their focus on Data, I am hoping their plans will be a bit more data focused.
     
  9. ct2k7 macrumors 603

    ct2k7

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    Location:
    London or Florida
    #9
    AtomicEdge, I live in Poole.

    The regulation stated that hey had to sell some spectrum off, they didn't say who to, Three did purchase it, however, EE are under no obligation to clear their usage until September 2013.

    Bournemouth probably won't get LTE until late 2013 if 2013 at all.
     
  10. AtomicEdge thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 23, 2009
    #10
    Yeah, Bournemouth (where I live) always get's the short straw with these things, but Wareham (where I work) is a black hole of 3G from O2 especially. I need to move to someone, and EE seems to be the most flexible option.
     
  11. tiptopp macrumors regular

    tiptopp

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    Location:
    Norwich, UK
    #11
    I agree. Coverage simply won't be good enough for a while, so I managed to persuade myself not to go with one of the EE companies for now. I've been so happy with Vodafone (especially compared to my previous provider O2) that I couldn't jump on the off-chance that I might get 4G within a year or so! Oh, and I believe that the EE spectrum is a bit of a half-way house, in that it's not great at penetrating buildings (which the 700Mhz version will do) and isn't the fastest (which the 2.6Ghz version is). So when these two are auctioned off and in use next year, I'm suspecting some EE customers will be feeling a bit cheesed off...

    I think that quite a few people, however, are confused by the 4G thing in the UK. I've seen and heard a number of people saying that they're going to go with an existing provider - Vodafone, for example - and wait until they have 4G, expecting to get it on their iPhone 5. However, my understanding is that they will be picking up spectrums (spectra?) which won't be supported by Apple on this generation. On the other hand, I reckon that by the time the other UK telcos have 4G up and running, iPhone 5s will be launched to support them.
     
  12. ct2k7 macrumors 603

    ct2k7

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    #12
    If you think that's bad, try Sandbanks or Canford Cliffs: there is 3G but its not the fastest
     
  13. AtomicEdge thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 23, 2009
    #13
    None of the iPhone 5's support 2.6Ghz, and the UK one doesn't support 700Mhz. It supports 2100, 1800, 850Mhz. http://www.apple.com/iphone/LTE/
     
  14. miniConvert macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

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    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    #14
    Indeed. Assuming that some sort of firmware update to add 800MHz and 2600MHz to the iPhone 5 is not possible, it's highly likely that a European iPhone 5S will support these bands as, by that time, rollout in Europe will be significant.

    I'm still saddened that Apple chose to snub the EU's chosen LTE bands with the iPhone 5, but realistically the next iPhone will be out by the time we have decent LTE service available anyway. Europe has been uncharacteristically slow to sort out LTE, but I think that's borne of the generally more complex mobile market over here. We've been well-and-truly leapfrogged.

    I'm sticking with O2, FWIW. I'm in one of the areas where they've rolled out 3G900, so I get whatever variant of HSPA they're using pretty much everywhere. Infinitely more useful to me than 3G (or 4G) in a handful of locations, even if, at those locations, it's far faster.
     
  15. The Game 161 macrumors G5

    The Game 161

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    UK
    #15
    I don't think you will see the best out of 4G until next year sometime speed wise.

    I won't get 4G where I am for a while so there is no point moving to orange from Vodafone

    I barely use 3G so it won't be a huge issue. Nice to have but the 5 will be damn quick anyway
     
  16. Westyfield2 macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 9, 2009
    Location:
    Bath, UK.
    #16
    I'm taking out a new contract with EE as soon as possible. I'm not bothering with Orange/T-Mobile first and upgrading, I'm going straight with EE. I work in London, so that's good coverage for me.

    I'm just hoping that they'll be competitively priced in terms of data usage, and do 30day SIM only ones as-well as 18month contracts.

    Unfortunately there's quite a lot of misinformation out there already. I was speaking to someone at lunch today who thought his Orange contract would just become 4G enabled... he didn't realise that he'll have to resign a new EE contract once available, and it may well be more expensive than his current 3G Orange contract.
     
  17. MacWorld78 macrumors member

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    Jul 25, 2012
    #17
    We'll find out sooner wont we. Right now I'm with 02 pay & go £15 top up every month.


    I'm waiting for EE to release the pricing structure, if it is too expensive - I may go for this route 02 is offering unlimited call/sms along with 1GB data cap for £20 p/m (offer will end 31 OCT)

    :(
     
  18. NATO macrumors 68000

    NATO

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    Northern Ireland
    #18
    With EE having an effective monopoly on 4G in the UK for the foreseeable future, the question really is whether they'll be charging just an arm, or whether they'll want your leg too...
     
  19. AtomicEdge thread starter macrumors regular

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    #19
    I don't know their full business plan, but I imagine they are trying to build up a long term customer base. The way they are keeping 4G only on EE makes it look as if they are going to eventually fold Orange and T-Mobile into EE as a new super carrier. I expect a LOT of EE advertising to appear once they announce their tariffs, and I wonder if they are going to try and keep the barrier to entry low, so they can get as many people over as possible before the other carriers get 4G...
     
  20. fat jez macrumors 68000

    fat jez

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    Glasgow, UK
    #20
    It's not so much about folding Orange and T-Mobile in as letting them wither and die as brands within the UK. It costs money to license those brands from FT and DT, money which could be better spent elsewhere.

    As an ex-Orange engineer who joined the company when it was was in an exciting growth period, I'm quite sad to see what the intend to do with the brand.
     
  21. cperchard macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    Every time i see them on Twitter, they always say something like:

    "We don't have a price plan yet, but it will be easy to switch from your current orange/t-mobile tarrif....and will only be 'a few pounds more'
     
  22. fat jez macrumors 68000

    fat jez

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    Glasgow, UK
    #22
    They're hardly going to get people signing up to Orange or T-Mo with a view to transferring if they tell you that they're going to fleece you with their new 4G tariffs though ;)
     
  23. cperchard macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    true....but then a lot of people won't bother switching if it's too much.....i already left for 3 anyway cos orange were useless with nano sim's......but thats the benefit of buying the phone and going non contract.....if EE turns out to be any good....and if they take SIM only deals, i'll go back :D
     
  24. fat jez macrumors 68000

    fat jez

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    Location:
    Glasgow, UK
    #24
    An equally valid point, unless they are targeting business customers to begin with who don't mind paying over the odds for a fast wireless connection. I'd say they are shooting themselves in the foot if they are and the tone of their tweets suggests they want to appeal to a more mass market.
     
  25. cperchard macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 15, 2010
    #25
    Im gonna take a stab in the dark and say their monthly contracts will be something like £40 a month.....if current ones are around the £36 a month mark.

    But as i'm paying £12.90 to 3 on a rolling deal......if they don't come up with something around the £18 MAX mark on a rolling deal i won't bother....it's not too often i need cellular data anyway....if i'm home it's all wifi.....and if i'm out it's usually at work or with my wife and daughter......hardly sociable to be on my phone all day with them :D
     

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