EE announces pricing for UK's first 4G network

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Pricing's been announced for the UK's first 4G network, run by EE: and while it starts low, there's no unlimited data plan available, making it expensive for some.

The cheapest contract costs £36 per month, with unlimited domestic calls and texts, but only 500MB of data, while £56 nets customers 8GB. For businesses, the lowest tariff is £35 per month, with 1GB of data.

Customers will, though, be allowed to download one movie a month from the company's Film Store without impacting their data allowance.

"We’re proud to be leading the way and pioneering the roll out of 4G in the UK. With our new brand and unique 4G and Fibre services, we will deliver consumers and businesses across the country next-generation services and a superior level of support," says Olaf Swantee, CEO of EE.

"Our new plans have been developed to offer our customers everything they have been asking for – superfast performance, choice and value – as well as a fresh approach to pricing and customer service that offers accessibility, flexibility and guidance every step of the way."

The service, which should be around five times as fast as 3G, will launch on 30 October in ten cities. EE says it plans to include another six cities before Christmas, and to cover 98 percent of the population by the end of 2014.

The company's also launching a Fibre Broadband service for consumers and businesses, starting from £15 per month. This gives a maximum download speed of 76Mbps, with off-peak phone calls and a router included.

"By offering LTE at an entry-level £36 (US$57.7) per month for 500MB of data, with unlimited calls and SMS, EE has shown that it wants LTE to be accessible to its entire postpaid mobile broadband user base. At the same time, EE hopes to realize a premium on LTE from those who want more data use: all EE’s LTE price plans are at a £5 per month premium to its 3G price plans, with the most expensive being £56 for 8GB," says Informa Telecoms & Media analyst Paul Lambert.

"Although it will see considerable competition on these prices when its rivals launch LTE next year, EE is unlikely to have to reduce prices by much to maintain competitiveness, and could get away with offering more monthly data on each of the current tariffs."