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back to article EE sets October date to power up UK 4G network

Mobile operator EE will launch its UK 4G service on 30 October. Switching on its next-gen mobile broadband network will no doubt cheer Apple iPhone 5 fanbois for whom 3G's 8Mb/sec just isn't fast enough. EE has a monopoly on 4G, at least until after Ofcom's radio frequency auction in January, so the UK's largest network operator …

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Bronze badge
Stop

The Big Reveal

Yes, they're now flogging the phones, but they've still not pulled the proverbial pricing rabbit out of the hat, nor revealed how G's of data you'll get for your money.

So, still in a holding pattern until this information becomes clear.

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Happy

Machiavelli is alive, well, and working for the Brits. I love of when a plan comes together:

1) knowing that the technology is ready for the iPhone, find a first adopter.

2) wait for competitors to demand better regulatory treatment

3) kick himself in his well padded regulatory butt and sell spectrum "ahead of plan"

4) get Great Britain wired at 40 Mbits/sec a year ahead of the previous plan

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Pricing

I'm on Orange PAYG. If I want to use their speedy 4G network with a suitable phone, are they going to charge me more for the privilege? It wouldn't surprise me, though the logic of it from a punter's perspective would be baffling.

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Silver badge

Re: Pricing

"If I want to use their speedy 4G network with a suitable phone, are they going to charge me more for the privilege?"

There's a difficult question. Does the pope s*** in the woods? Oops. Are bears catholic? Anyway, you know what I mean.

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Megaphone

Re: Pricing

I think (I'm open to correction here) that Orange & T-Mobile users will have to switch to EE - this shouldn't be any trouble - but I believe that EE's 4G will only be available on contract, and not PAYG.

The latter may well be a problem for many, if I'm correct.

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Re: Pricing

so are you saying you want something better / faster and you don't think you should pay extra for it ?

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Re: Pricing

Answer: Yes

Assuming you spend less on PAYG than you would on an EE 4G contract.

You read the FAQ that states there will be no EE 4G PAYG at the moment I assume?

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Bronze badge

Re: Pricing

"so are you saying you want something better / faster and you don't think you should pay extra for it ?"

You're dead right that I want a faster connection without paying more. I pay for the amount of data that is transmitted, not the speed that it moves. I get a snappy connection on my home broadband and that doesn't cost me any more than the era of 14K modems (a lot less, in fact).

Charging extra for 4G would be profiteering. Like the bad old days when you were penalised for installing a wireless router in your home.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Pricing

"If I want to use their speedy 4G network with a suitable phone, are they going to charge me more for the privilege?"

Ha ha ha!! Good one, had me fooled for a split second.

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FAIL

Re: Pricing

"I pay for the amount of data that is transmitted, not the speed that it moves."

So if they choose to throttle you down to early dial up speeds but allow you to use all the data you've paid for eventually then you'd consider that ok?

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Re: Pricing

"So if they choose to throttle you down to early dial up speeds but allow you to use all the data you've paid for eventually then you'd consider that ok?"

Of course not. I'd take my business elsewhere.

These guys should be partaking in competition, where they provide a continually improving service in order to retain my business. With a 4G monopoly in place, there is no competition, and that's why EE may be tempted to fleece their customers for what they can get away with. At least, that seems to be the general opinion here of what will happen.

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Re: Pricing

I think you'll find that's what always happens, when 3G arrived the opening offers allowed 50Mb/month for £5, after the first 12 months it was £10 for 5Mb/month. 3G was around for about 4/5 years before PAYG phones were also allowed to use data, it was calls only before that.

Highest income comes from early-adopting contract customers and business as they will pay the money for the service they want.

You might not like it, and you might feel entitled to something, but this is the reality of the situation, so don't expect any cheap PAYG deals on 4G anytime in the next year or so.

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Phone

Also the Galaxy note 2 - release on 15th Oct is 4G compatible with EE.

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Re: Phone

Being picky, the "Galaxy Note II LTE" is being released.

The "Galaxy Note II" however is already out and available on 3. And frankly given the speeds I get from 3 (the register states that 3G is 8meg or something which is wrong anyhow*), of over 12 meg typically which is more than usable I am not sure what the fuss is about yet.

*Raw 3G from memory was 384kbps or something of that ilk. HSPA+ can do 21 meg iirc.

Oh, and:

Sent from my Galaxy Note II on 3UK

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HMB

Latency

Yes, I've had great experience on HSDPA with 3 too, but....

Let's not forget that Mbps is not the only metric of network performance.

Substantially reduced latency should make LTE a much more pleasurable experience for web browsing.

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Thumb Down

What's the point...?

I rarely get anywhere near the throughput that 3G can offer, even on a full strength signal. With 4G, the lack of service delivery would be even more frustrating - unless Something Somewhere will be prioritising 4G originating data traffic within their network (in which case I'd be even more frustrated as an existing 3G customer).

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Bronze badge

Not worth worrying about...

Let the early adopters go through the pain.

By the time coverage is at least worthwhile and technical issues have been put to bed, your S3, iPhone 5 etc will have been replaced by the S4 and iPhone 5S.

I'm staying on my current phone, stable with 3G on a cheap rate until 4G is worth the effort.

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Boffin

What for...

I think I am a pretty high data user on my phone, but I can't see what the point of 4G on a phone is other than tethering. I never have any problems with 3G bandwidth other than when reception is patchy or there are problems that seem to be to do with the route from the site rather than the last hop.

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Mushroom

Re: What for...

Do you really expect that EE will allow tethering? Are you having a joke?

They might 3-5 years down the line at 50% premium.

This is called maximising revenue. The honchos in EE will be saying

'We can't have these buggers eating up our bandwitdh with this tethering malarkey. Semaphore flags are good enough for them and we can charge an extra £20/month for it as well'

{Pours them all another G&T}

Nuke the lot of em I say

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Silver badge

Speed

Speeds are ALWAYS headline speed, for perfect signal and no other users!

So average cell location = 1/5th of speed or less.

just 6 simultaneous users streaming video

Real speed becomes (40/5) / 6 = 1.33Mbps! Not 40Mbps.

now you know why 3G's 21Mbps is poor.

With about 15 users the "code noise" of CDMA of course means that you have 1/30th not 1/15th speed. So everything else being equal, LTE is twice as good (in same spectrum) but only to the extent of getting say 0.5M to 1Mbps instead of 0.2 to 0.5M, or letting the operator connect 20 users instead of 10,

The other "speed" improvements are simply having more spectrum. Which won't apply at 800, 900 or 1800MHz generally, but only at 2600MHz.

5MHz = 21Mbps (same as 3G HSDPA!)

10MHz = 42Mbps

20Mhz = about 100Mbps

But only for perfect signal. Speed at cell edge is typically 1/100th! All for only one user!

see comparisons of performance vs distance and numbers of users.

Yes, LTE is better than 3G. But if Everything Everywhere get an economic number of customers it will be a slightly faster poorer coverage version of 3G that costs more. No SMS and voice to cross subsidize it. SMS on GSM & 3G costs nothing. Voice is about 1/150th of the traffic for same revenue on 3G. Which is why Three makes no money.

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Happy

Re: Prices have been revealed.

Strange, but on the Orange website today (3rd October) it's showing four 4G Handsets one of which is free on contracts from £36.00 and three at £19.99 on contracts from £41.00 per mth.

Note: Nokia handsets aren't listed (Yet)

http://shop.orange.co.uk/mobile-phones/4g-ready-phones

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Prices have been revealed.

Ahem. You *can* buy the LTE-compatible phones on Orange or T-Mobile once they have them in stock, and pay the same line rental as for anything else. But you'll *still* need to restart your contract as described by previous posters, when you want to get that LTE phone onto 4G.

AC because I work for a major phone retailer and can't remember what I know that isn't public yet ;-)

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Meh

Lumia range...

Orange didn't know of a Lumia 920 when I just called....

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HTC One XL

Doesn't support LTE 800Mhz? Is there definate word on what edition we're getting as the German version does.. http://www.htc.com/de/smartphones/htc-one-xl/#specs

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HMB

Re: HTC One XL

The UK version is listed with LTE 800 too.

Interesting that no 3G radio is mentioned.

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Silver badge
Stop

Bear of little brain

I use my phone for talking & texting, but have been considering a change of heart.

But the more I read the more bafflingly complex it becomes. This or that 'edition' of a phone? what is/is not LTE? who will have what options? Not to mention what happens if you dare take your mobile to another country. I think the whole industry is doing its damndest to make sure I won't bother.

Going to go back to Morris Dancing & wood carving, I reckon.

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Anonymous Coward

One thing's for sure

Whatever the basic price turns out to be, however fast their version of '4G' actually is, the data allowance they'll offer will certainly be absolutely woeful. We've had mobile data for years, and yet only one company to offer a useable data allowance at anything approaching a sane price, and it aint EE.

It always amuses to see network ads promising 'faster movie downloads', when half your allowance will probably be spanked by jumping, flashing ads before you even get to the content, leaving about enough to watch half an episode of the IT Crowd at low res before the "you have exceeded your allowance for the month" wazzes from a great height on your 'early adopter' super-mega-uber festival of speed. My guess is the top drawer package offering no more that 3GB/"unlimited(but not really)".

And how come the only justification for 4G they can ever come up with is video? I can really see the FTSE 100 CEOs cracking a boner over improving staff morale by facilitating Eastenders in HD. 4G will have its day when allowances actually reflect potential modern usage, which I wouldn't expect any time soon.

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(dc-)HSPA+ is not 4g

""""""HSDPA+ service, which can deliver data close to the 30-ish megabits-per-second 4G EE will offer. But doing so won't get them the little "4G" logo.""""""""

DC-HSPA+ (41mb) is still not an 4g network (guessing its an USA Writer) still uses HSDPA/HSPA+ and UMTS space your lucky if you can get 8mb on HSPA+ the avg been 4mb or lower

4g in the EU norm stads for 4th Generation network (not 4 speed as the USA mobile operators like to call it, and due to network load HSPA+ is only about 1-2mb faster then HSDPA and that avg speed in the USA is 0.5-2mb or lower)

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