10:43, 3 Jul 2013
EE has doubled the speeds of its 4G mobile broadband and has added prepay tariffs to the mix
EE has announced it will be doubling its 4G speeds and adding prepay options to its portfolio of tariffs.
The network says existing customers will not have to pay more to double their speeds. From July 4 existing customers in 12 UK cities will be able to access EE's double speed 4G network, including Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Derby, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Nottingham and Sheffield.
The new speeds will allow connections at between 24 and 30Mbps.
'Double speed 4G from EE will provide an even better experience for customers when enjoying HD videos, sharing high resolution pictures, sending large files, multi-tasking, and tethering multiple devices,' the company said, 'EE will be making double speed 4G available to all existing 4GEE customers, while they remain on their current 4GEE plan.'
New customers who sign up before September 30 can take advantage of EE's summer promotion, where they will be given 4G and double speed data allowances 'which are double, triple or even quadruple the size of the standard plans for the duration of their contract.'
Existing customers can upgrade their current plan to take advantage of this offer. Plans covered by the deal start from £26 per month for 500MB of data.
The company has also announced its Shared 4GEE plans, starting from July 17, which will mean a household, couple or multi-device user will be able to share one 4G connection across up to five devices, meaning you don't have to shell out for multiple plans if everyone wants to use 4G.
Like regular EE 4G plans the tariffs will include unlimited calls and texts, plus a mobile data allowance.
To take up this offer, one person must have a full 4G plan and then other users can be added on for as little £5 per month per person. If someone in the family is already on an existing contract they can join the Shared plan at any time, so they can simply wait for their contract to expire.
A set of Shared 4GEE tools means parents can keep tabs on their kids' data usage, set limits and recieve notifications for the plan in an attempt to curb 'Bill Shock'.
EE's other innovation announced today is called Cash on Tap, a partnership with Mastercard which will see over 230,000 UK retailers, including McDonald's and Boots adopt NFC-style swipe payment services for enabled EE phones.
Essentially you can top your phone's SIM up like an Oyster card for such payments and when you first activate the service EE will give you £5 credit, plus a further £5 the first time you top up with a credit or debit card.
The feature works through the SIM card and will function even if the phone is switched off.
Compatible phones includes the Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE, Sony Xperia SP and Samsung Galaxy S4.
Once again, EE has demonstrated it is the market leader in 4G and the other networks will have to get moving if they are to launch such competitive plans and added extras like EE.
Vodafone, O2 and Three will all be rolling out their 4G plans later this year, but that still gives EE a 12-month advantage over the other UK mobile networks.
EE already has more than half a million subscribers and has rolled its 4G service out to 55 percent of the country.
EE confirms 500,000 subscribers, sets standard for impending 4G rollout
More to follow....