EE 4G Announces Shared Plans And Pay As You Go

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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EE announces latest developments to its LTE network as it claims 500,000 4G subscribers

EE has launched a pre-emptive strike against other operators planning to launch rival LTE services by announcing proposals to let customers share their EE 4G data plans across various devices, whilst revealing details of its pay-as-you-go service.

PAYG plans will be offered for the first time for its mobile internet service, which is compatible with tablets, laptops and mobile Wi-Fi devices, but it seems as though handsets will not be offered. EE says that pricing and availability will be made available in the next few weeks.

Last month, EE launched a range of 30-day SIM-only plans for users who do not want to be tied down to a 12-month contract.

EE 4G coverage

EE Store 2The operator also revealed that the next phase of the EE 4G rollout will target major commuter routes, shopping centres and airports, including London Gatwick. It claimed the EE 4G network now covers 55 percent of the UK population, a figure which will increase to 98 percent by the end of 2014.

EE said it will continue to expand coverage during 2013, including key towns and cities like Aberdeen, Bath, Bournemouth, Brighton, Cambridge, Ipswich, Middlesbrough, Northampton, Norwich, Poole, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Swansea and York.

“We recognise that with 4G, customers connect to the things they care about more frequently, across more devices,” said Olaf Swantee, CEO of EE. “Our Shared 4GEE plans and Pay as You Go 4GEE Mobile Broadband will offer our customers more ways to do this.

“We won’t stop here. Customers can be assured that, on EE, they are one step ahead.”

Customer targets

Swantee will hope that today’s announcements will help EE 4G achieve its target of having one million customers by the end of the year. It now claims to have 500,000 subscribers, an increase from 318,000 in April, and 2,200 business customers, including IKEA and Renault.

EE 4G is currently the UK’s only 4G operator, having received permission from Ofcom to launch an LTE service using its existing spectrum last year. It also secured 10MHz of 800MHz bandwidth and 70MHz of 2.6GHz airwaves in the recent Ofcom 4G auction, which EE says gives it 36 percent of the total spectrum available in the UK and “an unrivalled foundation for the future.”

However, EE’s monopoly on 4G will end later this year when the other winners of the spectrum auction release LTE services. O2, Vodafone and Three’s propositions will increase competition in the sector and threaten EE’s chances of meeting its subscriber goal.

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