The EE 4G launch could have been so much more exciting, and while the statisticians at EE may point out that of existing T-Mobile customers on the Full Monty tariff hardly any exceed the highest priced tier, the Full Monty plan with unlimited everything is £41 a month versus £56 for 8GB on EE.
Current Usage Patterns
- The majority of mobile customers in the UK choose 500MB or 1GB data bundles - with their monthly usage generally corresponding to the size of their bundle.
- The average data use on Orange Panther at £36 is 400MB – and on our unlimited T-Mobile Full Monty tariff, the average use is just 1GB, with only the top 10% customers averaging 6GB – (still 2GB below our highest data package offered on 4GEE.)Extract from briefing on EE 4G plans
If one looks at this information with the eyes of an accountant the range of 4G plans from 500MB to 8GB make complete sense, but if one reads any of the aspirations of existing and potential customers you get the sense that many were considering using 4G as a replacement for their slow old ADSL/ADSL2+ service, particularly if they had no date for a fibre based service appearing in their area yet. The average monthly data usage on fixed line broadband is around 17GB per month, and that figure pre-dates the rise of services like Lovefilm Instant and Netflix.
The most shocking comment from EE is 'for customers who want to download multiple songs or stream videos every day, we’d recommend they go for one our plans with a higher data limit or use our free BT Wi-Fi or any available Wi-Fi services'. While we are sure many people will switch over to Wi-Fi where available, we should point out that EE stands for Everything Everywhere, so this includes watching catchup TV while on the bus or train as part of your daily commute, or listening to music via We7. Just 20 minutes of SD video three times a week equals around 2.4GB over a month, but if the app auto scales to deliver HD this jumps to around 8GB.
We suspect that the vast majority who sign up to unlimited data plans on mobile services do so not because they want to use TerraBytes of data per month, but do so as they know if they do want to watch a show on Sky Go they will not be penalised, or have to ration out their remaining allowance.