4G Everything Everywhere in the UK: Here's what you should know
4G's finally hit the UK, but where will it hit first and who can use it?
By Chris Martin | PC Advisor | Published: 18:07, 11 September 2012
EE, formally Everything Everywhere, has switched on its 4G mobile network in the UK today so we're here to answer all your burning questions.
The UK has been waiting a long time for 4G to arrive and it's finally upon us and you're sure to have many questions relating to it. We’ve put this article together to explain what 4G is, how it works and how it will affect you.
Here's our FAQ for everything 4G but if you have further questions, feel free to post them in the comments section below.
EE 4G in the UK: When and where will it launch?
The 4G network has been switched on today, but only for testing and isn’t available for the general public to use yet. EE hasn't given a specific date for its availability telling us that it will be fully launching in 'a few weeks'.
Testing is taking place in London, Cardiff, Bristol and Birmingham and these will be the first cities to get 4G in the UK. A total of 16 cities will have 4G live by Christmas; see below for the full list.
Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Derby, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Nottingham, Newcastle, Sheffield and Southampton.
Beyond this EE said it will reach 70 percent of the UK by the end of 2013 and 98 percent by the end of 2014.
To register your interest head to www.ee.co.uk
How fast will the network be?
EE uses 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology which has a theoretical speed of 100Mbps. However, the typical average speed to expect will be between 8Mbps and 12Mbps. EE said the typical maximum speed and peak speed are 40Mbps and 64Mbps, respectively.
Will there be any data limits or traffic shaping?
Since EE hasn't announced its tariffs or policies yet we don't know the answer to this question. It is likely that a range of data limits will be on offer and possibly an unlimited tariff too.
Is EE replacing Orange and T-Mobile?
No, EE is a new brand which will operate alongside Orange and T-Mobile which will remain as brands and retailers in their own right but there will be some changes.
They will all use the EE network and therefore smartphones will display 'EE' instead of 'Orange' or 'T-Mobile' by Christmas. All existing Orange and T-Mobile stores will also be rebranded to EE and will serve customers of all three brands.
You can remain as an Orange or T-Mobile customer as per usual but you won't be able to use 4G. EE has said it will make it 'easy and straightforward' to move to EE to take advantage of the 4G network.
Will my current phone work with the 4G network?
Unfortunately not because existing smartphones and tablets with mobile internet capabilities use 3G technology so won't be compatible with EE's 4G network.
What 4G capable smartphones and devices will I be able to buy?
EE has announced the following smartphones will be available on its network but we have no specific launch dates more specific than they will be available this year. Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE, HTC One XL, Nokia Lumia 820 LTE, Nokia Lumia 920 LTE and Huawei Ascend P1 LTE.
On top of these will be the Huawei E589 Mobile Wi-Fi and Huawei E392 MBB Stick (a USB dongle). You can connect these to existing devices like smartphones, tablet and laptops via USB or Wi-Fi to utilise the EE 4G network without needing to upgrade the device itself.
Will the iPhone 5 work with 4G?
Apple is due to launch the iPhone 5 tomorrow so we don't know the answer to this question for definite yet. We expect that the smartphone will come with 4G capability and since the UK is an important market Apple will have probably made sure it will work with the UK's 4G network. Furthermore, EE hinted at an iPhone 5 with 4G at the launch event.
Will the new iPad work on 4G?
In short the answer is no. EE uses the 1800MHz spectrum for its 4G while the latest iPad, or iPad 3 uses 700MHz and 2100MHz so won’t be compatible.