New larger data allowances on 4GEE Home Router
With the Universal Service Obligation slowly progressing through the paper work stages there are signs that physical services may be gearing themselves up to handle things in 2020 and beyond.
EE launched its 4GEE Home Router some time ago, which is a small 4G router with built in antenna that can be simply posted to people and if needed an engineer visit at £100 can be arranged to install an external 4G antenna on a property. One problem in terms of replacing a fixed line service with 4G solutions is often the limited usage allowances but with up to 500 GB plans now available EE may have largely removed that obstacle even if the price is a bit more personal shopper rather than pound store.
- 500GB is £100/m, equivalent to 20p per GB
- 300GB is £80/m, equivalent to 26.6p per GB
- 200GB is £60/m, equivalent to 30p per GB
- 100GB is £45/m, equivalent to 45p per GB
- 50GB is £35/m, equivalent to 70p per GB
All the plans are based on an 18 month contract, but you can pay £100 upfront and have the freedom of a 30 day contract. One fly in the ointment is that the router appears to be out of stock, maybe the rush to buy at this price has already started but you can still order and will receive the device once back in stock
The £100 price tag is still well above what would be considered a reasonable cost but is still a lot lower than the £1/GB equation that has lasted for some years, and if you are otherwise stuck with sub 2 Mbps ADSL it might be tempting.
The Broadband Universal Service Obligation is meant to belivered using services that can provide an over 10 Mbps down and 1 Mbps upload connection speed (i.e. sync rather than speed test result) and a 100GB or larger usage allowance. With the USO in mind the 100GB package is still a bit too expensive, if this was to drop into the £25 to £35/m region that would tick the price box we are fairly sure.
4G is increasingly expected to be used for the broadband USO, the main advantage is that in many instances the router can simply be posted and the 4G routers even without an external antenna can often provide a better connection than a mobile phone. Add to this the option to mount an external antenna fairly high on the outside of the property and people who currently get no 4G signal may actually be able to get the service.
For those looking at 4G options, if your existing fixed line broadband service is annoyingly slow it may still be worth retaining depending on your usage patterns e.g. download a boxset to a device over the slower connection to save expensive 4G allowance. If the BT Plus and EE fixed/4G convergence delivers everything promised then a very interesting USO solution exists, i.e. combined ADSL/ADSL2+ service with 4G for when extra speed is needed. Load balancing solutions have offered something like this for a while, but they are all too often for those who enjoy tinkering rather than just plugging in and using.