First 4G mobile network coming to UK on 30th October


Everything Everywhere (EE) has set the launch date for its LTE (4G) launch in the UK, offering Orange and T-Mobile customers with superfast mobile internet connections on 30th October.

Watch the BBC’s Rory Cellan-Jones how 4G works in this video below (source: BBC)

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The firm, which owns the Orange and T-Mobile brands, will make the 4G service available in 10 major UK cities at launch. These include Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Sheffield.

EE will cover 16 cities – a third of the UK population – by the end of the year. Further towns, cities and rural areas, will follow with coverage to reach 98% by 2014.

However, the service will only be available on a compatible 4G phone. These include the iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy SIII LTE, Nokia Lumia 920, Nokia Lumia 820, HTC One XL and the Huawei Ascend P1 LTE.

The 4G network is said to be up to five times faster than 3G, which many phones currently run on.

Customers may need to pay extra to access the superfast network, largely because they will need one of the latest phones mentioned above.

EE, formerly known as Everything Everywhere, has yet to release prices for its 4G tariffs but says any Orange or T-Mobile customers will be able to switch to it, regardless of how long is left on their contract, without paying a penalty.

Rival Vodafone, 3 and O2 had threatened a legal challenge, but a Department of Culture, Media and Sport spokesman said crunch talks this week "dispelled any fears of litigation".

Other operators are likely to launch 4G by spring next year.

Olaf Swantee, EE boss, said: "This is a significant milestone for the United Kingdom, and for the people and businesses of our country who will now be able to enjoy the huge advantages of superfast 4G technology for the first time."

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