Everything Everywhere (the new name for the combined Orange and T-Mobile networks) have recently announced their 4G SIM only deals, or in their terminology 4GEE deals. The plans run from £21 to £36 per month for 4G SIM only contracts – for more details click here.
But to be able to take advantage of 4G and the superfast Internet browsing that this provides you will need a new 4G SIM contract as well as a 4G capable mobile phone. Due to the cutting edge technology involved in delivering the 4G service there are only a small handful of the latest smartphones that are 4G compatible in the UK.
The list of 4G compatible mobiles that you would be able to use on Everything Everywhere include the following –
- iPhone 5 16GB
- iPhone 5 32GB
- iPhone 5 64GB
- Samsung Galaxy S III LTE
- Samsung Galaxy Note 2 LTE
- HTC One XL
- Huawei Ascend P1 LTE
Why are there so few 4G compatible mobiles?
The 4G offered by Everything Everywhere will run on the 1800MHz band which is different to the current 2G and 3G bands used which means that standard 2G and 3G phones will be unable to connect to 4G. This is why in order to take advantage of 4G, mobile phone manufacturers that service the UK market are having to modify their phones to be capable of running on the 1800MHz band. Mobile phones that are bought in the US, Australia or Korea will typically run on the 1800MHz frequency.
As a rule because the data is travelling faster and at a greater volume over 4G, the mobile phones need significant processing power to harness the data. This means you will have a blazingly fast phone that can crunch data at staggering levels, but the inevitable trade off is that this will negatively affect battery life significantly. The Wall Street Journal article Fast Phones Dead Batteries sums up the quandry for users perfectly.
When looking at the list of phones that will be 4G capable at launch it is no co-indidence that they are among the most technologically advanced on the market today. However, in the following months expect to see an increased range of phones at varying price points that will carry 4G. When other UK networks will start their 4G offerings the choice will increase further.
All of the above phones will be compatible with the new 4G service from Everything Everywhere provided that the mobile phone has been purchased directly from Orange or T-Mobile or bought on the Orange or T-Mobile networks from an indirect retailer. If you have an iPhone 5 you will be able to use it on the EE 4G network if the iPhone 5 was bought direct via Apple, Phones4u or the Carphone Warehouse.
Please do bear in mind that 4G is only available on Everything Everywhere in the UK from 30th October 2012 and the launch is limited to 10 major UK cities which will offer approximately 33% of total UK coverage at launch, with 6 additional cities covered by Christmas time, so you should check that your area will be covered by 4G before committing to a 4G SIM only plan. To find out more about the 4G coverage details click here.