EE reduces cost of consumer and SMB 4G price plans and offers Kestrel for free on pay monthly or £99 on pay as you go
EE is making 4G more accessible by introducing new entry level tariffs for consumers and businesses as well its own-brand EE Kestrel smartphone, which when combined with the cheapest price plan, offers LTE for the price of a pint of milk a day.
The Android-powered EE Kestrel is powered by a 1.2 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage, which can be expanded, while it has a a 4.5-inch qHD display and five megapixel camera. It is CAT 4 compatible, which means it is capable of handling speeds of up to 150Mbps – should the user ever have such a connection.
The smartphone costs £99.99 on pay-as-you-go or free with EE’s new £13.99 a month entry level consumer plan, which comes with 500MB of data, 500 minutes and unlimited texts.
EE Entry level plans
There is also a new entry-level 4GEE Extra plan costing £21.99, with unlimited texts, 1000 minutes and 2GB of data, and access to the double-speed LTE available in 20 UK cities, as well as inclusive calls and texts from a number of countries around the world. Other pay-monthly customers can make unlimited calls and texts within the European Union with a £2 a day add-on.
EE is also attempting to make its home broadband service even more appealing by boosting 4G data plans to 10GB or even 20GB if customers take out a fixed line package to complement their mobile contract.
SMBs can also benefit from a new £17 (excluding VAT) entry level plan, which includes 500MB of data, 500 minutes and 500 texts, with tariffs increasing to £35 a month for 3GB of data and unlimited calls and texts. Business Extra plans also offer unlimited calls and texts, as well as up to 36GB of data, with users given 180 minutes of international calls to use at home or abroad each month.
Breaking down barriers to access
“At EE, we’re continually looking for new ways to make a quality 4G experience accessible to all,” says Pippa Dunn, EE chief marketing officer. “By introducing the UK’s lowest price 4G smartphone, and great value entry-level plans, even more customers will now have the ability to access the UK’s most advanced 4G network and reap the benefits it offers.”
EE 4G is currently available in 175 towns and cities and reaches three quarters of the UK population. It was recently named best network by independent research firm RootMetrics, but just days later suffered a network issue that prevented many of its users from connecting to the service.
Analysts have welcomed the move to break down barriers to access to 4G, and say its strategy of offering home and mobile broadband perks could be a key differentiator, but are still critical about the data limits imposed on users.
“Our research shows that customers still worry about maxing out their monthly data allowances,” comments Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at uSwitch. “Faster browsing and streaming mean it’s very easy to burn through data on 4G. An allowance of 500MB – whilst a decent amount for an entry-level mobile user – might mean some need to switch to heftier tariffs as they reach their limits.”
“Combating perks like Three offering faster mobile internet without a premium and Vodafone delivering a suite of streaming services with their upper end Red plans, EE might have a clever angle by tying mobile tariffs into discounts on their broadband and landline bundles, making in-roads to home services, as well as trumping the competition on cost.”
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