The UK should get its first taste of LTE 4G on October 30.
EE (formerly known as Everything Everywhere) has announced that it will launch its new 4G service on 30 October. In a statement the company said: “We are delighted to announce that the official launch of our new customer brand, EE, offering the UK’s first superfast mobile 4G and fibre broadband service, will take place on the 30 October 2012.”
“This is a significant milestone for the United Kingdom, and for the people and businesses of our country who will now be able to enjoy the huge advantages of superfast 4G technology for the first time,” claims the company.
EE confirmed that it will launch 4G in ten cities on the 30 October. It will be available in 16 cities by the end of the year—which EE claims is equivalent to “a third of the UK population.”
EE adds that: “Further towns, cities and rural areas, will follow rapidly with coverage to reach 98 percent by 2014.”
Along with the iPhone 5, EE’s 4G services will be available on the Samsung Galaxy SIII LTE, Nokia Lumia 920, Nokia Lumia 820, HTC One XL and the Huawei Ascend P1 LTE.
Customers on Orange and T-Mobile networks (the two networks combining to form EE) will start to see the EE symbol on their phones shortly, however this doesn’t mean customers are getting the new 4G service. An EE representative told us: “They will only have access to 3G. In order to access 4G they will need to move over to EE.”
LTE data speeds with the new LTE-ready iPhone 5 are many times faster than speeds over older 3G networks.
If you want a 4G LTE networked iPhone in the UK, you will need to move over to EE and take out a new contract.
Earlier this year, the UK government allowed EE (Everything Everywhere) to ‘refarm’ portions of its 2G spectrum in the 1,800MHz band so that it can offer a 4G service in a handful of cities around the UK. The iPhone 5 uses the 1,800MHz band, which is good news for EE.
Telecoms watchdog Ofcom is supposed to be auctioning off chunks of radio spectrum (the 800MHz and 2.6GHz frequencies) that will support the 4G services. This auction had been planned for early 2012, but it has been delayed (partly because the analogue TV signal was using the 800GHz band, and partly because the government has ruled that the networks had to offer 4G over the 800GHz spectrum as it has better reach and will therefore be accessible all over the country). When this 4G launches, it will not be compatible with the current iPhone 5 model.