One could easily turn this into a hate-filled rant at EE, but we'll remain calm with a cup of tea in one hand and the crumpet in the other. According to a press release sent out this morning (crossing over Nokia incidentally), EE announced its UK 4G plans, and what it will be charging consumers to make use of the extra speeds offered by the UK's first LTE network.
Now don't get us wrong, we expected a slight jump in pricing due to the exclusivity held by EE on the improved network speed, but what has been revealed by the company is almost mind boggling.
Should you not currently own a 4G handset, be prepared to fork out for the following plans:
- £36 - 500MB
- £41 - 1GB
- £46 - 3GB
- £51 - 5GB
- £56 - 8GB
No, we haven't made them up. You're expected to deal with a 500MB cap on the UK's first 4G network, should you find £36 more than enough for the service you'll be expected to receive. While those in other markets have been known for dealing with tighter carrier data allowances, here in the UK we've always enjoyed "unlimited data", which is what many networks currently supply - at a cheaper price than the above.
To make matters worse, there's no unlimited option. 8GB is the sky, should you wish to venture into space, you might have to jump ship and wait until the other carriers are able to launch their 4G networks to compete with EE. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel should you already own a 4G smartphone.
SIM-only plans from EE will also offer data with unlimited SMS and voice calls on each plan, and turns out to be slightly cheaper than the above full contracts.
- £21 - 500MB
- £26 - 1GB
- £31 - 3GB
- £36 - 5GB
EE is not only the UK's first 4G network, but it's also the first unintentionally set BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) choice. EE states that they will inform customers when data allowances are almost met, and will offer the chance to purchase data add-ons to provide a slight boost to the set limit.
Thankfully there's no restrictions on how data can be used - VoIP, tethering, etc. is all within the plans. Also, BT Wi-fi is also included at no extra cost, providing access to millions of wireless hotspots across the UK, which will save some MBs.
Businesses have a slightly more reasonable deal on EE (almost double the data for the same price compared to consumer plans):
- £35 - 1GB
- £40 - 4GB
- £45 - 8GB
- £50 - 16GB
Unfortunately, being British, this has sparked some EE feedback on social media websites, but hopefully EE will increase allowances or reduce cost for the higher data caps. Still, for the average consumer, is 500MB / 8GB enough? Especially with increased network speed, which could well increase the usage considerably if said consumer streams video, etc.
Find out more information over at EE.