Phone firm launches 4G network, in Bristol... but not everywhere
BRISTOL will be one of the first four city's in the country to get a revolutionary new phone service when it is launched next week.
The mobile phone giant EE, which was formed when Orange and T Mobile joined forces, launches its new 4G mobile phone network next week.
The new service means that users who sign up to the service will be able to get a broadband-standard speeds on their mobile phones and handset.
The launch has come after months of planning and negotiations with the government and other mobile phone operators.
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Work has been going on to upgrade systems in Bristol so the city will be able to handle the new network.
The system is expected to usher in the next phase of the communications revolution for both business and private users.
And the full details of the pricing scheme for 4G were made public for the first time yesterday by EE.
Orange and T-Mobile customers will have to pay between £36 and £56 a month for a minimum two-year contract.
The network will be five times faster than 3G meaning users will be able to download and stream music and videos at any time.
The two-year contracts range from £36 to £56 a month depending on how much data you use.
Unlimited calls, texts and a 500MB data allowance will cost £36, rising to £41 for 1GB, £46 for 3GB, £51 for 5GB and £56 for 8GB.
The cost is around £5 a month more than Orange and T-Mobile's current 3G tariffs.
Olaf Swantee, chief executive of EE, said the pricing was competitive even though rivals would have to wait a year to launch their own version of 4G.
He said: "We will deliver consumers and businesses across the country next-generation services and a superior level of support. Our new plans have been developed to offer our customers everything they have been asking for – superfast performance, choice and value."
Consumer groups agreed that the pricing was attractive but said the 500MB cap would be quickly used up by anyone streaming movies and music.
Dominic Baliszewski, telecommunications expert at BroadbandChoices, said: "The starting download limit is 500MB with the cheapest package – enough to get you through light e-mailing and surfing but this will never be a replacement for the much more generous download limits that come with landline broadband packages that allow you to stream and download without worrying about data usage – so don't ditch the line rental just yet."
He added: "Given the much faster speeds 4G can deliver, early adopters of this service will likely want to make the most of its capabilities and may be forced to opt for the pricier packages such as the 8GB data package at £56 per month."