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EE UK Launch 4G LTE Alternative to Home Broadband and Trial 300Mbps

Thursday, October 17th, 2013 (8:09 am) - Score 7,141

Mobile operator EE UK has announced a series of major new 4G (LTE at 1800MHz) based enhancements for November 2013, which include a trial of 300Mbps service speeds in London and the launch of a new superfast “Home Broadband” style product that uses their Mobile Broadband network. Bigger data allowances are also on the way.

Most of the new developments are expected to surface on 30th October 2013 and will be used to mark the first anniversary of EE’s introduction of a national 4G service across the United Kingdom. At present the network is available in 117 towns and cities (60% of the population – reaching 98% by the end of 2014) and many of those are also benefitting from the operators on-going “double speed” upgrade to 150Mbps (i.e. average speeds of 24-30Mbps).

The operator has now announced that it intends to go one step further by leveraging the benefits of their extra spectrum capacity to launch a second double speed upgrade in the space of a year, which will offer download speeds of up to 300Mbps! A trial of the new speed will be conducted in London during November and a wider rollout is “planned for 2014“.

But perhaps the most interesting aspect for ISPreview.co.uk readers will be their new 4G powered Home Broadband plans for areas of the UK not served by superfast fixed broadband (FTTC). The operator claims that this new service “will offer huge benefits to rural areas and reaffirms EE’s commitment to bringing 4G to as many people as possible“.

In addition a separate “converged” 4G and Home Broadband bundle will shortly be made available, which allows the operators 4GEE mobile subscribers to get a 10GB data usage allowance boost at “no extra charge” if they also sign-up to EE’s fixed line unlimited home broadband ISP service.

Olaf Swantee, CEO of EE, said:

One year after launch, we’ve extended the world’s fastest network across 60% of the United Kingdom. But we want to bring the power of 4GEE to even more people. That’s why this month we are launching new plans for light users, super users, regular users, data sharers and Britain’s mobile workforce up and down the country.

Whether they want the flexibility of pay as you go, the UK’s most affordable monthly plans, or to make the most from their smartphone with the world’s fastest speeds and biggest data bundles, EE is the number one 4G network.”

More details on their new home 4G service are expected to surface soon and a launch should follow in November. This new service, which clearly has a focus on rural areas, is most likely to be based off their 4G Fixed Wireless Access solution. EE are serving a number of rural premises in the Northern Fells area of Cumbria (England) with similar technology from £15.99 a month as part of a £1.5m investment (details). The average speeds of 8-12Mbps are hardly “superfast“, although clearly EE can improve upon that.

On top of all this EE has also announced a range of new mobile packages, which includes a series of new 4G pay-as-you-go handset plans. In addition, from launch until 31st January 2014, every customer who buys a 4GEE PAYG handset from an EE shop or their website will receive an additional, one off, 10GB of mobile data to help get them started.

The operator has also adopted a new a new two-tiered approach to 4G pay monthly handset plans that splits the service price by 4G speed. Finally, EE has announced a series of new dedicated 4GEE Mobile Broadband (USB Modem / Dongle) packages, which will cost £36 a month for a 20GB data bundle or £50 for 50GB. Not exactly cheap but an improvement.

ee 4g uk november 2013 plans

Leave a Comment
23 Responses
  1. Avatar sam

    £75/month for a 50gb data cap, no thanks! You can get 20MBps satellite broadband for about £60/month with 50gb data cap and £70/month for unlimited data.

  2. Avatar DanielM

    You can even do more than that on there full monty plans (record for me is 124GB) torrents 😀

  3. Avatar Phil

    No thanks EE. I don’t need it. I use my home wifi and hotspot wifi for surf the net. But data allowance, I use it at home via wifi unlimited from virgin media. Cost me £0.00

  4. Avatar DTMark

    … waits in anticipation of prices coming down having moved to 4G EE for home broadband.

    Currently about £90/mo for 30GB/mo (that doesn’t appear to have changed looking at that table above) for a near-symmetric 20Mbps connection.

    http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/3039007747

    Compare that with bonding say 4 ADSL lines to get maybe 5Meg/2Meg with no guarantees or 2+ VDSL lines to hit similar speeds (20/20) here, to hit the same sorts of speeds, and it’s quite attractive. Makes me wonder if the cost of line bonding will have to come down over time to keep people on fixed networks.

    At the moment this doesn’t seem to be competing against very much; Three 4G is due in December and will be interesting as a comparison.

    I see the point of trying to bundle VDSL/ADSL together with it as a package and where they’re going with that, but that doesn’t sound all that attractive if that’s another circa £35/mo for line rental + internet access service – but it would provide a backup service to the 4G.

    • Avatar DTMark

      Oh, one more thing … 😉

      EE 4G uses carrier grade NAT, so a VPN is essential for the internet to work properly. That’s another circa £10/mo on top if you take it as a rented “off the shelf” service.

      But then presumably that will become necessary with all ISPs in the end (apart from AAISP who were IPv6 ready a while back).

    • It should be said that we’re not sure whether their fixed wireless 4G service also uses CGNAT.

    • Avatar DTMark

      The FWA option is certainly an interesting development in terms of getting broadband (whether superfast or just 2Meg+) to rural areas.

      Shouldn’t EE be holding out the begging bowl to BDUK?

    • Avatar DanielM

      @Mark Jackson

      it will if they use the orange network (orange data platform AS12576)

      but if it’s t-mobile they will get a public ip from AS29328_

  5. Avatar zemadeiran

    All the other carriers should follow suit in regards to providing a fixed home 4g solution.

    The only bugbear in all this is the cell site bandwidth available/number of users with back haul not really an issue if they use fiber.

  6. Avatar Ignitionnet

    This would be a huge improvement over my 1.5Mb home ADSL, however I currently have no signal at all on my EE mobile, so perhaps not 🙂

    I’m in the third largest city in the country by the way, not out in the sticks!

    • Avatar Roberto

      Is that third largest metropolitan city Ignitionnet (IE Birmingham) or third largest region (IE elsewher in West Midlands in general)

      EEs signal isn’t that bad in Birmingham but does suffer more in West Brom, walsall and a couple of other areas in that region.

      Have you looked into a femtocell access point which should be available for various 4G solutions soon? That would solve signal issues at home and give you speeds near the top end.

    • Avatar MikeW

      I thought Ignitionnet was based in Leeds.

      A femtocell box isn’t going to give you high wireless speeds if you can’t give it a high speed backhaul… and a 1.5Mbps ADSL connection ain’t going to manage that.

    • Avatar Roberto

      Well if he is in Leeds that comes under West Yorkshire and would be the 4th largest region in the UK. Regardless a new 4G (when available) femtocell would work and help. Where i previously lived on 3G there was no or little service, my phone would often have no signal until the arrival of Vodafones femtocell which helped dramatically and allowed me to get virtually full speed constantly.

    • Avatar MikeW

      Right, but a femtocell provides additional cellular coverage (very localised, usually indoors within one property) but can only do so when the householder has a decent broadband connection through which it can make its backhaul connection.

      That is exactly how my Three “Home Signal” femtocell works, at least.

      Obviously a femtocell cannot provide a data speed that is any faster than the backhaul speed, which in turn cannot be faster than the underlying broadband connection.

    • Avatar MikeW

      Oh. And…

      Leeds may well be part of the 4th largest metropolitan area in the UK, when combined with Bradford. But you have to note that the man said “city”, and by using a strict definition, Leeds is actually the second largest city in both the UK and England. Third is Glasgow (if, by country, he meant the UK) otherwise it is Sheffield.

  7. Avatar dragoneast

    One size doesn’t fit all, shock, horror. But without the rushed, hashed BDUK driven by the politicians for fear of those screaming blue murder (who aren’t satisfied, anyway), I’d have liked to see what the market would provide. It would get there eventually and always does better than ANY politician, but the modern children won’t wait. Patience wasn’t called the greatest virtue for nothing. Instead we just waste money, but it doesn’t matter ’cause we think it grows on trees . . . yeah, right.

    • Avatar MikeW

      Yup.

      Wireless is always going to act as a decent-enough fill-in service, provided it doesn’t have to serve too many people simultaneously. So it works, provided enough people can get service via a wired provider such as BT’s FTTC or Virgin’s cable.

      Ironically, the high prices per GB are partly there to prevent too many people from subscribing – it is to scare people off to other services!

  8. Avatar dragoneast

    Nicely lined up for the match: the cabinet-haters v. the mast-haters, perhaps?

  9. Avatar Michael

    With the new Fixed Wireless mode for Home Broadband in rural areas it would be interesting to know whether that is going to be launched using some of their 800Mhz awarded spectrum, as this could definitely improve rural broadband availability in an “up to 30Mbps” context.

    • Avatar MikeW

      Unless they bodge the modem in some way, it ought to work with whatever spectrum it can see and get itself registered on.

      If a subscriber lives in a rural area, then he’s only likely to see 800MHz signals, and the modem will have to make use of it.

      The real question is how far out into rural areas will EE extend their coverage. It is only Telefonica that has a coverage clause in their licence.

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