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EE suggests those who watch streamed video should use WiFi
Friday 26 October 2012 10:21:20 by Andrew Ferguson

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.


Posted by stanman24 over 4 years ago
As a current EE Customer on a very good retention deal [ year number 5], it worries me to think that a £60 a month line rental for a measly 2GB allowance is acceptable on 4G, I am under the impression that if any customer switches from 3g to 4g it will be centred around throughput and data allowance, offering similar allowances to that of 3g is detrimental,non productive & extortionate.
Posted by shaunhw over 4 years ago
Let's be honest.

Any self respecting radio engineer will tell you that unless there's a mast on every street corner. The RF bandwidth simply isn't there for everyone to dump their ADSL wired connections and go 4G

My experiences with T-Mobile has not been good. I was (and still am) on a 3g/month allowance, something which had to be fought for in order to keep, when they reduced it to 500mbyte.

They shouldn't promise people things when they know for sure, it cannot be sustained. 4G will be OK for a while... Until more and more people get 4G enabled devices that is.
Posted by undecidedadrian over 4 years ago
EE may point out that hardly any customers don't exceed 8G a month on the full monty but that is not saying much.

I went with 3 on the one plan for unlimited data use and tethering.

As said beofre I can stream my slingbox and have access to my NAS while I am out and about.

I have used something like 30gig this month alone. It helps though as I have FTTC so when connecting to my home network I can download at full pelt from the phone and not wait on my home connection.
Posted by finaldest over 4 years ago
I have 1GB allowance on 3G but mainly use Wi-Fi. 4G will eat that allowance in 5-10 mins. 8GB should be the minimum tariff not 500MB and I would not pay £56 for 8GB allowance on 4G.

Higher speeds will result in much higher data usage even for light users.
Posted by Eljmayes over 4 years ago
The problem with this "use wifi to view videos" is two fold. Firstly, what's the point of having a quick connection just to view web pages on 4G? Secondly, their marketing has strongly stated that you can stream video on the service.

All in all, a bit of shambles.
Posted by nooneatall over 4 years ago
@finaldest incorrect.

higher speed DOES NOT result in higher data usage, it just means you can do things faster.
Posted by Jonkarra over 4 years ago
As EE are selling 4G at the moment the additional speed is pointless. 3G/HSPA is more than quick enough for browsing, facebook, email and even downloading the odd song. The additional speed of 4G is pointless as it adds no value except for the ability to use high bandwidth services such as Video on Demand. Halving the time it takes to download my email, or retrieve facebook/web pages will not make any appreciable difference to my smartphone experience. Save your money guys and don't line EE's pockets.
Posted by otester over 4 years ago
It's proper retarded when telecoms say that customers never exceed x amount per month, that's generally because their connections are not unlimited and are capped around that figure.
Posted by csimon over 4 years ago

Higher speed CAN result in higher data usage and, in my opinion, almost certainly DOES.

If you go onto Youtube to view a 5 minute video & it takes half an hour to download, you are going to be very picky about what videos you choose & probably won't do many in a day.

But if your speed is good enough so that it streams in real time with no hiccups, you will be able to view 6 times as many videos in the same period & I think you are VERY LIKELY to do so rather than watching just one video and then switch your PC off for the rest of the night.
Posted by csimon over 4 years ago
I think you were being a bit pedantic about finaldest's comment and wanted to point out a mistake that you thought he or she had made in understanding what data usage and bandwidth mean.
Posted by mitchja over 4 years ago
Higher speeds DOES MEAN more data usage, regardless of what anyone may try and tell you.


I was on O2 with an iPhone, they o not offer 3G here or where I work. My O2 plan came with 500Mb data, i used about 250Mb a month.

I switched to T-Mobile who do offer 3G, I was and am using around 1.5GB of data a month.

It's the same with my broadband, since I've gone from upto 8Gb ASDL to upto 20 LLU ADSL2, I'm using more data now.
Posted by tmcr over 4 years ago
EE: Expect Exceptions
Posted by stanman24 over 4 years ago
Posted by orozz over 4 years ago
I've moved from an O2 simplicity with unlimited data(which is mostly GPRS speeds in my area) to T-Mobile which has blanket coverage 3G. I zeroed my data counter to see how much more data I'm now using and after 3 weeks my usage is now 1.75GB with one week left in my billing cycle. With O2 it was ~500MB
Posted by pcoventry76 over 4 years ago
I still prefer my friends version.

"nothing - nowhere" :)
Posted by stanman24 over 4 years ago
so how many of you guys on 3g use wireless tether with their laptops :P?

i do on my android based phone
Posted by pcoventry76 over 4 years ago
Rarely.. I tend to use USB for my desktop as I have no other devices to attach.
Posted by acpsd775 over 4 years ago
i agree the data allowances on EE 4G seam a bit rubbish, Last month my internet went down for about 6 hours so i tethered my phone what iforgot was WOW was going in the back ground and downloaded a 9.8 gig update and id also been watching tons of HD YT vids my final data for that 6 hours turned out to be about 16gig lucky for me im on the one plan and they allow this but that just gos to show if your not paying attention it would be very easy to go well above EEs top package. BTW my 3g speed it about 10meg so above some ADSL connections
Posted by timmay over 4 years ago
"nothing - nowhere" ... isn't that a double negative? If there is nothing nowhere then there must be something everywhere.

Thing is there is and will be very little 4G coverage for some time. Those that do sign up to EE will mostly be falling back to 3G, hence the need for low limits.
Posted by pcoventry76 over 4 years ago
acpsd same here (12 for me 5 up) which outstripped my ADSL connection so I got rid of it.

EE just showed me a ton of reasons why I should not bother with them. I have a friend who's got an Orange LTE S3 and I think he s regretting it too. Trying to get him to get an iphone 5 on 3 so he can use their 4G

No thanks EE - Ill stick with 4G as for the time you get to my area I'll have anything up to 330mbps from BT to play with.
Posted by pcoventry76 over 4 years ago
Stick with 3G even
Posted by otester over 4 years ago
I really hope Samsung is on time getting the S4 out in march, I really want DC-HSPA+ for the ping.
Posted by Stoobs over 4 years ago
Wow, nicely done EE, you've just ensured that I can disregard your network once 4G is available in my area.
Posted by leexgx over 4 years ago
dc-hspa+ is unlikely to make ping any better, as your sharing 2 5mhz chunks that normal phones use on 3g and dc-hspa+ does nothing for upstream speed so ping will be the same as hspa

the data limits they have imposed are very bad, it should if started at 3gb or 5gb for 4g LTE

I will not pay more then £30 on an sim only contract for unlimited data, and no more then £20 for limited (unless the min data was 5gb)

PAYG, giffgaff and three unlimited data £12 and 15

contract, t-mobile (£26) and three (£25) ,virgin media (£12-£30 depending what talk options you want) all unlimited data
Posted by leexgx over 4 years ago
it should of started at 3gb for 4g LTE, 500mb is just an joke 0 point in that plan at all on LTE

this is very likely an orange made plan for EE, as none of there plans are good deals compared to t-mobile and some other networks
Posted by otester over 4 years ago

Go look up some of the speedtests for DC-HSPA+.
Posted by orozz over 4 years ago
Agreed on the Orange based tariffs... T-Mobile would've been better...
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
Gotta laugh at those that tout wireless as the future of internet connections, just check out those prices and data allowances!
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