EE plans 4G blitz as contract sales pass 3G


4G customers hit 3.6 million and operator looking to capitalise on head start over rivals

EE says that the number of 4G contract sales on its network now surpasses the amount of new 3G tariffs, as it announced the second phase of its 4G roll out and a host of new products.

The operator says it has 3.6m 4G customers and that users on the service have increased their data usage by 66 per cent over the past twelve months.

The firm says it has also completed the second phase of its 4G rural rollout with 2,588 villages and small towns now having access to the connectivity.

“With more experience of 4G than any other UK operator, we have unique insight into how the technology is changing behaviour,” chief executive Olaf Swantee said. “Our mobile devices have effectively become mini TVs with video traffic already making up over half the data on our 4G network.”

The firm also announced a host of 4G products including a new 4G tablet available for £199 on PAYG, or £49.99 on a two year contract. The Android-based Eagle has an eight-inch screen, a 5MP camera, quad-core processor and 16GB of internal memory.

The firm has also launched two portable WiFi devices which offer 4G WiFi connectivity on the move. The smartphone-sized Kite costs either £69.99 on PAYG, £29 up front on £10 per month contract, or free on all other two year contracts. The bulkier Osprey costs £69.99 on PAYG, £19 upfront on a £10 per month contract, or free on all other two year contracts.

EE also revealed an in-car WiFi service which plugs into the vehicle’s cigarette charger. It will provide connectivity to up to ten devices at once and is free to subscribers taking a two year contract, or £49.99 on PAYG.

Data costs are the same on contract and PAYG tariffs, starting at £10 for 1GB and rising to £50 for £50GB of data. All devices are available from 28 May apart from the Kite, which is available from July.

The firm also announced it has founded the Mobile Video Alliance which will look to overcome some of the technological issues surrounding streaming content to mobile devices. It will be run on the operator’s behalf by the Digital TV Group.