Ready for supercharged mobile web speeds? So’s Everything Everywhere. The mega-corp formed of Orange and T-Mobile has just announced the UK’s first 4G mobile tariffs. Will it power the iPhone 5? Read on for all the details.
Electricpig’s been down at the London launch this morning for Everything Everywhere’s 4G service – the first 4G service out of the gates since OfCom’s controversial move to allow the network to use its existing wave frequencies, which gives it the edge over O2, Vodafone and Three.
4G in the UK
So what’s the deal? Well, the 4G service on offer will launch under a new name, for one. Everything Everywhere is now EE – that’s the name of the brand, the network and the 4G service.
When EE’s 4G service lands in “the coming weeks,” it’ll offer speeds up to five times faster than 3G, although nothing more specific has yet been mentioned (stay tuned for an update on that). That’s HD movie downloads in minutes, or TV on the go sans buffering. A more specific launch date? Well, EE says that by Christmas it’ll have sixteen cities “going super fast,” but that it’s switching 4G on today for its engineers and testers in London, Birmingham, Cardiff and Bristol.
That’ll evolve into 70 per cent of the UK covered in 2013, and 98 per cent by 2014. By the end of this year, the 16 UK cities will be the initial four plus Edinburgh, Belfast, Leeds, Sheffield, Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow, Newcastle, Southampton, Hull, Nottingham and Derby.
“One more thing,” said EE’s CEO Olaf Swantee; “we will be announcing more devices very shortly.” That’s on top of handsets from HTC and Huawei (and others confirmed below). Care to guess what that handset could be?
Yep. Without exactly confirming as such, EE has suggested that its 4G network will support Apple’s iPhone 5. Good news there then…Unless you’re O2, Three or Vodafone, that is. EE is in a grand position to swoop up the monopoly on the 4G iPhone 5 market ahead of Christmas.
The other confirmed phones are the Nokia Lumia 820 and 920, the Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE, the HTC One XL and the Huawei Ascend P1 LTE.
Something to celebrate
Swantee says that this is “the communications equivalent of the change the jet engine made over steam,” and that it’s really “something else for the country to celebrate in 2012.”
“This digital backbone will become as important to the country as the roads, railways and airports,” Swantee boasts. EE’s bold claims should prove to be true if the speeds and infrastructure come through as promised.
As a bonus, EE is dipping its toes into the fibre optic broadband business. That means that you’ll be able to get web access from the same company. Somewhat confusingly, Orange and T-Mobile will still live on, but under the umbrella brand of EE.
So there you have it: Everything Everywhere is now EE, 4G is go and the iPhone 5 will almost definitely work on the network.
Oh, and after all those announcements, Boris Johnson took to the stage, thanked Vodafone(!) for its Olympic support, quoted the murder rate in London and described EE’s new logo as resembling “the pollen count.” It was mental, and we wish you could have seen it.