EE Flicks the LTE Switch -- the UK's First 4G Network Is Now Live

By Sam Gibbs on at

It seems like we've been waiting forever for this moment, but finally, the UK has a full-fledged 4G network to call its own in 11 cities around the UK. Those looking for a blazing-kick in the mobile broadband can nip can now grab their slice of 4G LTE, but unfortunately it won't be cheap.

Plans start at £36 a month, and that's for a puny 500MB of data allowance, which, really, isn't worth much when you're clocking up 30Mbit speeds. To grab yourself an actual usable amount of data you're looking at coughing up £46 per month at least for two-whole-years, and that's just for 3GB a month. Ouch.

The choice of 4G handsets is, thankfully, quite wide ranging, with decent offerings like the iPhone 5, the Samsung Galaxy S III LTE, Galaxy Note 2, and the HTC One XL leading the pack. Those looking for 4G on a Windows Phone won't have long to wait either as EE has Nokia's LTE-packing Lumia 920 on the way for November 9th.

EE customers currently in an Orange or T-mobile contract without a 4G phone will have to pay to terminate their current plan, while those who bought a LTE-packing phone will just have to ring up and switch to a 4G plan for free. That means for those within the first 6 months of their contract with an iPhone 5 or Samsung Galaxy S III will have to fork out a one-off £99 fee. Those further into your contracts will have to pay the early termination fee, which is normally the remaining number of months left on your contract times your monthly fee. An expensive proposition for sure, but EE's softening the blow slightly with a 33 per cent discount.

Still, it's the bleeding edge, so you're paying the early adopters fee, which we should all be horribly familiar with these days. If you plan on hopping into an EE store today, or jumping online to grab your 4G handset, here's a handy table to make your choices a little easier.

Click for full size

So, dear readers, is 4G everything you've been wishing and hoping for, or have EE's costly price plans put you well and truly off? Is 3G + Wi-Fi hotspots enough?