Broadband News

EE announce first 4G tariffs for the UK

EE-day has arrived and we now know how much we will have to pay for 4G broadband, and whether it will stands a chance of being a direct replacement for fixed line broadband.

With the plans announced, but no-one able to sign up until 30th October, while we know the headline figures we do not know other details like how much they will charge for handsets and contract lengths. The basic tariffs are:

Product Data allowance Monthly price
Phone + unlimited calls & texts 0.5GB £36
Phone + unlimited calls & texts 1GB £41
Phone + unlimited calls & texts 3GB £46
Phone + unlimited calls & texts 5GB £51
Phone + unlimited calls & texts 8GB £56
Sim only + unlimited calls & texts 0.5GB £21
Sim only + unlimited calls & texts 1GB £26
Sim only + unlimited calls & texts 3GB £31
Sim only + unlimited calls & texts 5GB £36
Mobile dongle 18 month contract 2GB £15.99
Mobile dongle 18 month contract 3GB £20.99
Mobile dongle 18 month contract 5GB £25.99

For those who have just purchased a non-4G enabled handset and a 4G enabled version of your handset is available there is a special offer where for a fee of £99 they will swap your phone for the LTE version.

Mobile tariffs are horrendously complex, but looking at the Panther Extra 41 deal appears closest and this offers a 4G capable phone (using 3G) with unlimited texts and calls for £41 per month (£29.99 one off fee for the phone, and a £49.99 security deposit), but carries a 2GB per month usage allowance. So the 4G tariffs appear to be the same but with a smaller data allowance.

With early adopters of 4G there is very likely to be a tendency to play with their phone and see what the extra speeds allow them to do, from using services such as iCloud on the iPhone 5 to backup pictures, or any one of the dozen or so data cloud services on the Android platform. With 8 Megapixel camera in most modern phones a single picture can easily be 3MB in size, and with 1080p video recording a common feature, a 5 minute video could use up the 500MB allowance when uploaded to YouTube or DropBox. Fortunately EE is promising to warn users before allowances run out and give them the option to buy more allowance or wait for the next month, we suspect many will wait, as 4G is not cheap with 500MB costing £6 or £15 for an extra 2GB.

There are some bonuses to joining EE, as mobile and fibre customers until February 2013 will have access to the EE film store that will provide a free film every week to customers (the data usage is free for these downloads), and there is a 2 for 1 deal on cinema tickets if you go to the cinema on a Wednesday.

There had been a small hope that with 4G having more capacity that the scarcity pricing model of 3G would become a thing of the past, but it appears that mobile data usage in the UK is destined to remain most popular with those where someone else pays the bill, or used for low data volume tasks like email and twitter. Watching an hour of catch-up TV while stuck on the bus in city rush hour will still prove to be expensive, or something you only do towards the end of your monthly billing cycle.

We doubt that pricing will drop much when other networks launch, as they will be seeking to recover the price they paid for the 4G license. This represents a real problem for the Government and Ofcom as the 98% 4G coverage target is a key component of the Digital Britain strategy. The fixed line broadband operators appear to have nothing to worry about, as even with the need for voice line rental they can offer vastly better usage allowances still.


Until the technology is adopted by other Carriers, I doubt there is much point in even considering switching over to LTE to replace landlines because of the silly usage limits. With the largest package being 8GB at £56 a month, it is ridiculous.

I'd like to see how what packages are released by other carriers in the forseeable future. I certainly won't be switching over to 4G when I have unlimited connection at home for £18 a month.

  • chris6273
  • over 8 years ago

O2/Vodafone were scared of this?

Three already achieve 10Mbps (20Mbps in DC-HSPA+ enabled areas) while offering 1TB usage for £15 p/m.

I was tempted to get a S3 LTE SIM free in November for the DC-HSPA+ and sell my S3 but apparently Samsung are releasing the S4 in March 2013 so I'll wait.

  • otester
  • over 8 years ago

@otester where do you get that 1TB a month limit from on three, Its unlimited with no FUP providing you don't use it for illegal activities although i seriously don't know how any one could use TB with out touching the illegal stuff :/

  • acpsd775
  • over 8 years ago

seeing as 4g means more throughput does this mean we will end up using more data ?

  • stanman24
  • over 8 years ago


Oh, wait, they are serious ?

  • JttB
  • over 8 years ago

three quote a TB in their literature as the maxiumum amount you could phyically download in one month running it at full speed 24/7.

I suspect it has been added by their legal team to counter claims about how much is unlimited.

  • undecidedadrian
  • over 8 years ago

1TB does work out at 3 Mbps constantly i.e. 24/7/31 so seems a fair enough figure to suggest on 3G.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 8 years ago


AYCE T&C, 1000GB cap, it's why they didn't use unlimited name (they lie and say it's because people don't believe unlimited atm).

Also I don't really care about the law, I care about ethics and buying from organisations which support state sponsored monopolies on ideas and censorship, isn't ethical.

I will buy from people/businesses that are neutral or pro-file-sharing.

  • otester
  • over 8 years ago

so who is signing up to a 40 quid a month contract with caps?, or shall we stick with 3g and wait till we got home to use our internet connections lol

  • stanman24
  • over 8 years ago

Haha who would want those speeds with they data caps

  • tthom
  • over 8 years ago

What a waste of a head-start for EE. New school technology with old school pricing models and bandwidth caps.

  • chrisdev
  • over 8 years ago

"Mobile tariffs are horrendously complex"

Surely there's scope for Ofcom to deal with this before they get into the habit (such as the utility companies)?

  • camieabz
  • over 8 years ago

Dont expect to get 4G anytime soon out in the sticks, but it was one of the possibilities to solve my dire land line broadband connection - now it looks like it will never be a realistic alternative anyway

  • KevG123
  • over 8 years ago

Oh please! Typical British approach... Moan, Moan and Moan some more.

Prices are demand controlled. If it's too expensive and no one takes it up they'll drop them soon enough as they've put some serious money down. Of course they are going to be ambitious with some high pricing in the beginning. Who the hell sells themselves short in business?

Let's actually let EE put the network live before we start moaning about it please.... actually... it's falling on deaf ears so i'm walking away :)

  • mabibby
  • over 8 years ago


I would say our level of moaning is a result of having freedom of speech (to a degree) for such a long time.

Also this isn't business, it's suicide, when Three can already provide a superior service...with 3G...

  • otester
  • over 8 years ago

I wouldn't call it suicide, there's far too many inept people in this country with disposable income which will be purely sold on the "buzz" of 4G, enough to start this all off.

How EE eventually get the technology nuts and mass market on side... well i'm sure they'll get round to it.

Freedom of Speech? I think we have something like that... although don't be fooled as it's open to interpretation these days ;-)

  • mabibby
  • over 8 years ago


Ahh yeah when you put it like that... looks like their going to be minted judging by the number of "inept people" in this country.

I expect once the rest launch they'll go back to normal packages and maybe an extra premium.

  • otester
  • over 8 years ago

i pay 10 a month with EE, 500mb, unlimited uk calls, 3000 texts, 400 minutes and a new phone every 18 months

tell me why i would pay 4 or 5 times that amount + handeset to switch over to 4g

  • stanman24
  • over 8 years ago


For £10 I can't imagine you have phone which can even utilise 3G properly...

  • otester
  • over 8 years ago

I have a phone that averages £0 a month (after cashback) and it utilises 3G perfectly well...

As to everyone thinking they have better business brains than the countries biggest mobile network can access... 4G is incredibly niche. Considering the type of people who will own a 4G phone in the near future are the kind of people who happily throw thousands of pounds at the network over the course of the contract, I don't think it's that far fetched people will pay for this.

  • callum9999
  • over 8 years ago

I have a question... What is the Government planning to do with the cash they grab for the 4G licenses? Prop up the dole no doubt... Use the cash to give everyone fibre FFS... Then we would not need to sign up to ridiculous 4g packages...

  • vicdupreez
  • over 8 years ago


Which phone?


Last time I checked this isn't a communist country, if you want fiber, you pay for it.

This will be expensive though as past generations have voted in people that have created artificial competition at the expense of network investment.

  • otester
  • over 8 years ago

For me ill stick on 3 on HPSA+. I like my phone and contract anyway so I am happy to use that. Im on the one plan and I do about 200GB a month.

When fibre gets here I might take it - I might not as I am happy with the speeds I get on 3G but my plan is to wait for my current contract to run out (20 months) and then see what 4G is like for speed and prices then

  • pcoventry76
  • over 8 years ago

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