EE, the joint venture of Orange of T-Mobile in Britain, has secured permission to reuse its existing mobile spectrum to start offering 4G to consumers from October 30.
The service, known as 4GEE, can deliver mobile internet speeds on smartphones and tablet devices around five times faster than 3G. It is thought that EE is aiming for around 10Mbps download speeds on the 4G mobile plan. It also plans to introduce a new fixed-line Fibre Broadband service
Ahead of the launch next week, the company has now confirmed that it will charge £36 per month for the 4G "light data usage entry plan", offering 500MB of data allowance every month on a 24-month plan.
The plan with 1GB of monthly data will cost £41 per month; the 3GB plan will cost £46 per month; the 5G tariff will be priced at £51 per month; and the range will extend up to 8GB for the heavy data user, which will cost £56 per month. All of these are also 24-month plans.
The company said that data controls will alert its 4G customers when they are approaching their data allowance limit, and they can then buy a data add-on, or wait until their next bill period starts.
Customers will be able to use VoIP services such as Skype as part of their plan without needing to buy specific data add-ons, and access to BT WiFi hotspots is included in 4GEE at no extra cost.
EE is already offering a range of 4G-enabled handsets, such as Apple's iPhone 5, the Samsung Galaxy S3, and the HTC One X. Orange and T-Mobile customers who've already purchased a 4G-ready handset can swap to one that can receive the 4GEE signal "at no additional cost".
EE has also announced plans to extend the Orange Wednesdays film promotion, which will be called EE Film for 4G customers and offer two-for-one cinema tickets, along with listings, trailers and film downloads or streaming in one place.
Alongside the mobile service, EE is also launching a new fixed-line fibre broadband service for home and office users, which it expects will offer speeds ten times faster than standard ADSL lines.
EE expects its fibre broadband will deliver an average speed of 58.5Mbps to customers, compared to the average speed of 5.9Mbps on ADSL Broadband. The maximum expected download speeds of 76Mbps on EE is around the same as the BT Infinity service.
"We're proud to be leading the way and pioneering the rollout of 4G in the UK. With our new brand and unique 4G and Fibre services, we will deliver consumers and businesses across the country next-generation services and a superior level of support," said Olaf Swantee, the chief executive of EE.
"Our new plans have been developed to offer our customers everything they have been asking for - superfast performance, choice and value - as well as a fresh approach to pricing and customer service that offers accessibility, flexibility and guidance every step of the way."
The UK's first 4G mobile service will launch on October 30, backed by a multi-million pound advertising campaign.
The network will be available initially in ten cities, but will cover 16 cities - a third of the population - by the end of the year. EE's aim is to reach 98% coverage of the UK population by 2014 in one of the fastest ever network rollout programmes.
Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at uSwitch.com, said that the launch of 4G is "a step change for the mobile market".
"It is a hugely ambitious rollout for EE, but luckily for consumers the price for the service isn't quite so ambitious," he said.
"With competitive prices, inherited value-adds such as Orange's hugely popular 2-4-1 cinema tickets and superfast mobile on the go, smartphone fans are ripe for winning over to 4G.
"Although our research shows that a deeper understanding of how it will work and what it will actually mean for users, has not yet filtered through to the public, this announcement is likely to allay a number of consumers' initial fears.
"And many are already thinking about upgrading or switching provider to get it, so EE will be pushing at a well-oiled door, while educating consumers about the benefits of 4G could lead to more consumers being prepared to pay this premium."
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