According to the Guardian, Everything Everywhere – which was formed with the amalgamation of Orange and T-Mobile, is the first UK network which uses a 4G connection. With download speeds expected of up to 12.5Mega Bits (1.5625 Mega Bytes) per second, it is said to be faster than most household broadband connections at 8 Mega Bits.
As a Virgin Media customer, I have double this speed at my house (up to 2.4 Mega Bytes per second) so it’s not much of a difference. However when contrasted with the speed of 3G, there is much improvement, regardless of what device you are using.
The advancement, however, comes at a price. A hefty one at that. You pay £36 a month for the use of up to 500MB of data. This is the same amount of data as streaming a single one-hour programme on iPlayer or making a two-hour Skype video call. As an Orange customer, I personally feel much more better off paying a single pound once a day and have unlimited 3G connection, than pay that, but is suppose it’s good for business people maybe who need to access email or whatever.
This concept reminds me of the big huge mobile phones you would see business people carrying around the stock exchange in London in the 1980’s and 90’s. The fees to use those things were extortionate, and the equivalent incarnation today being the satellite phones is the same. You pay up to a £1000 a month to use the service, were restricted in the umber of calls you could use/make and weren’t always guaranteed you would have signal.
I do wonder though, how much this is all costing Everything Everywhere and if their partnership will be forever. I kind of liked he Orange Network, having been a customer since my first phone, the legendary Nokia 3310 back in 2003/2004. It appears to me like one pick flop.
Some new 4G users in Southwark, south London, and in Manchester reported speeds of up to 19Mbps, which would rival some superfast fibre connections mainly used by businesses.
EE’s 4G network opened for business in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Sheffield and Southampton, with a further five cities to be added before Christmas. Vodafone, O2 and Three will be able to launch their own 4G services in May.
James Barford, of Enders Analysis, estimated that one in 10 mobile owners in the UK would benefit from 4G in the near future and predicted it would remain a largely premium service.
“There are a lot of everyday smartphone tasks that faster speeds will make quicker and easier, so it is an improvement in those terms,” he said. “For the moment 4G is likely to be better than latest version of 3G because it’s an empty network. If EE gets in the low hundreds of thousands of users by the end of the year, that will be pretty impressive. The price plans are as much a statement that 4G is a premium product, and they’ll market it that way.””