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EE UK Launch Video Data Pass Add-On for 4G Mobile Customers

Wednesday, March 13th, 2019 (9:05 am) - Score 4,959
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Customers of EE‘s UK mobile network who enjoy consuming their 4G data (mobile broadband) allowances by streaming online video are being offered a new Video Data Pass add-on, which effectively allows you to stream as much as you like without using up your mobile data allowance.

At present EE‘s customers can already benefit from 6 months of free Apple Music streaming (£9.99 per month thereafter) and 3 months of free access to BTSport (£5 thereafter for app access and another £10 for TV casting) without eating into your data allowance. On top of that they’ve today added the option of 6 months free Amazon Prime Video streaming (£5.99 thereafter) and 6 months free of MTV Play (£3.99 thereafter).

Alternatively the new Video Data Pass will cost an additional £8.99 per month and for that you’ll be able to stream video content from Netflix, Prime Video, BT Sport, MTV Play and TVPlayer without impacting on your data allowance (only on Pay Monthly plans). Handy if you already subscribe to more than one of those services and EE says they hope to add more video streaming platforms in the future.

Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s Consumer division, said:

“It’s our ambition to offer our customers unrivalled choice, with the best content, smartest devices, and the latest technology through working with the world’s best content providers.

In offering all EE pay monthly mobile customers Prime Video and MTV Play access, in addition to BT Sport and Apple Music – we’re providing them with a wealth of great entertainment they can experience in more places thanks to our superfast 4G network, and soon to be launched 5G service.

So, if they want music on a Monday, telly on a Tuesday, films on a Friday or sport on a Saturday, we’ve got something for them.”

The Video Data Pass is available on a 30-day (monthly) rolling contract term (text VIDEO to 150 in order to get it) and it should also work while roaming around other EU countries. One caveat here is that the pass doesn’t cover data that’s required for things like accessing or browsing the content providers app or for any adverts and images within an app. However the pass does include an additional 200MB of data to help cover such things.

Remember, you will still need a separate subscription for each of the video streaming services in order to access their content. All the above pass does is stop the video content from consuming your mobile data allowance, which may be handy for heavy users of such services as otherwise the excess data charges could become problematic.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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14 Responses
  1. Avatar Badem

    Thin tip of mirroring the Tarrifs they have for mobiles in Portugal, next up will be the Social Media Bolt On etc.

  2. Avatar Eggbanjo

    Start of the end of home fixed line broadband! This will build and build as the confidence grown in the network capacity. Really starting to feel the fibre network is a waste of money.

    • Avatar Badem

      Really?

      So at what ‘Base Cost’ of your line rental and Mobile, then paying extra £8.99 a month to download from a select number of suppliers (so approx £50 a month plus extra) and also Data Caps outside of this, call costs etc, compared to FTTP at (Cheapest) £25 a month for unlimited data in your home plus whatever call package and TV package you choose…

      Looking like Fibre Network is vastly superior to whatever offering EE are trying to tempt with…

      personally I use O2 and connect to their hotspots when I am out and about, even then I have yet to use more than 5Gig a month while streaming

    • Avatar Eggbanjo

      You would be paying for you existing mobile contract anyway. You’re therefore adding an 8.99 bolt on to not have to pay 25 for a separate fibre or any fixed line service, that may include additional installation charges.. that’s a 16 pound saving in my view.

      And keep in mind this is an always on use anywhere service on mobile broadband. Latency on gaming is higher over mobile but the actual data usage is not that high. The majority of my usage goes on my Netflix account. I will be upgrading and giving it a try. If it works out I know what I’ll be doing….

  3. Avatar EE

    Get started with stress-free streaming from loads of your favourite film, TV and sport apps, including Netflix, Prime Video, MTV Play and BT Sport.

    But no sky go or now tv are including for video data pass? I think I avoid EE then.

  4. Avatar Michael V

    They got a habit of leaving of PAYG customers. Who…. Still don’t have access to VoLTE & VoWiFi.

    Anywho, this is a great add on.

  5. Avatar 5G Infinity

    Two thoughts here,

    a) its just a means of getting another 8.99 a month without any guarantee of being able to actually use it

    b) how many more add-on’s, soon using Instragram will be an add-on. You’ll still be paying for your 32GB a month without any choice

  6. Avatar dubious

    These zero-rating services are useless for privacy concerned individuals using VPNs.
    Which should be all of us with RIPA and the like in effect.

  7. Avatar boggits

    Some would say that (because it only applies to certain providers and not a single service type) that this is a breach of net neutrality rules (others would argue that this would be true only under strict rules and current ‘weak’ rules permit it as its purely a billing issue).

    MEO in Portugal have an extreme version

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4e/%2B_Smart_Net_-_advertisement_offering_service_packages.png

    • Ofcom has had a tendency to let this sort of zero rating add-on pass through without much intervention, so I suspect it would be much the same with this one.

  8. Avatar Ex EE customer

    This is aimed only at EE’s phone customers, not 4GEE home 4G broadband. EE are massively uncompetitive in this space now (e.g. £65 a month for 300 GB versus £22 unlimited for Three). We only get about 10-15 Mb/s on Three’s 3G service, and 60 Mb/s+ on EE, but it’s still a no-brainer which to choose!

  9. Avatar Lary

    Still to expensive with EE network on three network £22 a month with broadband modem using 700gb monthly binge netflix will cost me over £500 with this usage with EE Network

  10. Avatar Spurple

    On principle, I hope these schemes don’t take off. We need data caps to be going away not new schemes to charge us more for something We’re already paying for whose cost per unit falls as technology improves.

  11. Avatar South West Mobile Broadband Ltd

    Not all 4G (LTE) networks are the same.

    The major UK carriers — EE, Vodafone, O2 and Three — operate on different radio frequencies (“bands”), and have different portions of spectrum available to them on each band.

    The three main LTE bands in use in the UK right now are:

    Band 20 (800MHz)
    Band 3 (1800MHz)
    Band 7 (2600MHz)

    Different frequency bands have their own advantages and disadvantages. Lower frequencies like 800MHz are capable of transmitting over a wider area and are affected less by thick walls and buildings. Higher frequencies like 2600MHz can transfer data more quickly, but over a shorter distance, and are more susceptible to interference.

    Different frequencies have their own advantages and disadvantages.

    As such, lower frequencies are often used in rural areas, where one mast can cover a wide area where people are more spread out. And higher frequencies are often used in big cities, where the demand for high-speed data is greater, and it’s easier to have several smaller towers covering one area.

    Here’s how the main four UK network operators divide up in terms of LTE bands:

    Three Band 3 (1800MHz), Band 20 (800MHz)
    EE Band 3 (1800MHz), Band 7 (2600MHz)
    O2 Band 20 (800MHz) (Limited 1800MHz coverage reportedly in London)
    Vodafone Band 20 (800MHz), Band 7 (2600MHz)

    Different flavours of 4G
    There are a couple of things that can affect data speeds on 4G networks, besides the usual factors like the strength of your signal and how many other people are using the network.

    The first is the amount of spectrum available to your operator. This varies for each company, with a bigger “slice” of spectrum allowing more data to be transferred at once.

    Three 5MHz of Band 20 (used for VoLTE) 15MHz of Band 3
    EE 5MHz of Band 20 (used for VoLTE) 20MHz of Band 3; 20MHz of Band 7
    O2 10MHz of Band 20
    Vodafone 10MHz of Band 20; 20MHz of Band 7

    The second is the “category” of LTE being used, which determines the maximum possible throughput. At the time of writing, O2 and Three have launched LTE Cat. 3 (up to 100Mbps), while Vodafone and EE have launched Cat. 6 LTE (up to 300Mbps- only useful on masts in on urban areas.

    OK, so what does this all mean?

    Therefore any reputatble 4G company should not be interested in Band 20. Why? The bandwidth. The bandwidth is design in terms of “capacity”, how many people can be on the mast at the same time (before problems occurs), and the potential speed. The smaller the bandwidth the slower the speed and throughput.

    VoLTE is what’s next for good old-fashioned phone calls, with calls being made over the 4G network as opposed to the older 3G or GSM networks. This allows for clearer audio for calls with less interference, and in the long-term gives operators a way to free up extra spectrum for 4G, as fewer customers are using those airwaves for old-style voice calls.

    All the major UK operators will eventually have VoLTE.

    VoLTE HAS A VERY SMALL BANDWIDTH OF JUST 5MHZ on EE and Three. This means it is the “Capacity” on the network is low, i.e The amount of people having access to the mast, and the “Speeds” are very slow, so it designed for calling over 4G only on the mobile. It is designed for mobile use only, not data.

    Band 20 bandwidth at 10MHZ is designed for 4G data, and although will travel further there is enough 4G coverage in rural areas with three and EE on band three, and are not competitive in their deals so ignore them with the equipment to ignore it.

    Band 7 bandwidth at 20Mhz is good but travels shorter distances. We only tend to pick up these bands on masts at the end of big towns. As these are “Urban areas” they can (but not always), have large traffic on them, but as the capacity is good, it really is dependant on the area.

    So what are we left with? BAND 3 on Three and EE. 1800Mhz. It is still very good bandwidth (20Mhz on EE and 15Mhz on Three).

    Currently most connections are on EE. There is no other choice. However EE will always be the fastest network sometime achieving speeds of upto 120MB/s on double speed masts, and 60-90MB/s on the others. Uploads can be 30-50MB/s, with an all in one 4G modem/outdoor antenna

    These are the potential speeds we have seen with our equipment. On survey you must detect the mast, the bandwidth of that mast , and what options are on that mast (if any we can have on Three for cheaper data deals).

    IT IS POINTLESS TO GET HOME BROADBAND ON THREE ON BAND 20.

    EE and Three often share the same masts in rural areas in an agreement signed in 2014, to share the costs of increasing coverage of the 4G network in rural areas.

    https://www.silicon.co.uk/workspace/ee-three-4g-network-138046

    The good news is that Threes coverage is improving all the time and more Band 20 masts are being replaced by Band 3 masts. Remember when we stated that the Bandwidth of both. In rural areas it tends to be 20Mhz on EE and 15Mhz on Three. Three will not be as fast as EE on like for like, however theoretically, it should be ¾ of the speed in EE, at 20% of the price. We will be able to tell this on a site survey or before the installation if this is possible.
    What about ‘Double Speed’ 4G?
    “Double speed” 4G is EE’s way of taking advantage of its lead in 4G spectrum. Because it has 20MHz available on Band 7 and Band 3, it offers customers two speed options: 2x10MHz for “normal speed” customers, and 2x20MHz for “double speed” customers.

    From there, it’s pretty simple — double-speed customers have twice as much spectrum available to them, and as such can enjoy data speeds twice as fast as normal.

    It’s worth remembering that “double speed” isn’t a standard in itself, nor are there any special handset requirements needed to use it. It’s just EE’s way of describing how it’s offering two different speed tiers to customers.

    Back to the gain of the antenna gain on each band). Most 9dBi antennas for example will be
    8.3 dBi Max Gain @ 650-960 MHz
    9.3 dBi Max Gain @ 1710-2170 MHz
    8.2 dBi Max Gain @ 2500-2700 MHz

    and that is WITHOUT ANY COAXIAL CABLE LOSS.

    So infact on Band 3 (1800Mhz) is the best frequency for the gain of the antenna to be most influential. If you can get a Band 3 on Three go for it. The price speaks for itself. If not then EE is your only real option IMO.

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