The United Kingdom’s first 4G network is set to go live on October 30, but if you want to take advantage of its super speedy data rates, you’ll need to sign up to a new 4G plan from EE. The carrier has announced five different plans for consumers, with prices starting at £36 (approx. $58) per month.
All five plans last for 24 months, and include unlimited calls and texts; the only different between them is the data allowance. Here’s what you get with each one:
- £36 (approx. $58) per month — 500MB of data
- £41 (approx. $66) per month — 1GB of data
- £46 (approx. $74) per month — 3GB of data
- £51 (approx. $82) per month — 5GB of data
- £56 (approx. $90) per month — 8GB of data
All of these plans are pretty pricey, then, especially when you compare them to the price of current 3G tariffs in the U.K. Most users are going to need at least 3GB of data to enjoy their 4G speeds — depending on their needs — but at £46 per month, that’s not going to suit everyone’s budget.
Then there’s the price of the phones themselves. Almost every smartphone released here in the U.K. can be obtained for free on contracts priced at around £30-£40 (approx. $48-$64), but EE is only offering one 4G smartphone with no upfront cost, and that’s the Huawei Ascend P1.
If you want a 32GB iPhone 5, you’ll need to pay at least £29.99 (approx. $48) for the handset up-front; that’s on the most expensive 8GB plan. That price also applies to the Samsung Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II, and the HTC One XL. If you want the cheapest plan, you’ll need to pay £270 (approx. $432) upfront for the 32GB iPhone 5.
You can get a 4G SIM-only plan from EE, which is perfect if you’ve already bought an unlocked 4G handset. These come with 12-month plans and are priced £15 (approx. $24) cheaper than the plans above, with the cheapest starting at £21 (approx. $34) per month.
EE is also offering mobile broadband dongles and hotspots. These are available on 18-month plans, and they start at $16 (approx. $26) per month for 2GB of data. You’ll pay £21 per month for 3GB of data, and £26 per month for 5GB of data.
You can find out more about EE’s new 4G plans, including its 4G business plans, at www.ee.co.uk/plans.
Will you be signing up to one of EE’s new 4G plans later this month?