4G Speed Set to Double as Rollout Continues10th April 2013
The original provider of 4G mobile data in the UK – Everything Everywhere – has announced that speeds are set to double to more than 20Mbps in several UK cities.
This faster service will initially be rolled out in 10 major cities where 4G has already been introduced, whilst the nationwide rollout of the initial service continues. The higher speeds will soon be available London, Cardiff, Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Bristol and Sheffield.
EE remains the sole provider of 4G services in the UK, but other providers are set to launch their services following the 4G spectrum auction earlier this year in February.
Rumours surrounding weak demand for 4G services persist, with some experts warning that faster browsing could lead to bills soaring, which will put off further potential customers. EE however claims that there has been a “huge shift” in the way people are using their mobile phones. It is currently aiming to have 1 million users on 4G by the end of 2013, and expects mobile data demand to grow by up to 750% by 2016.
Ernest Doku of uSwitch does concede that doubling the speed of 4G could “cushion the blow” of the extra financial outlay EE customers have to make for 4G services. Speeds could reach up to 7 times those possible with 3G although he does echo the sentiment that faster browsing could encourage customers to use mobile browsing far more often to send their data bills sky high.
Rivals 3 (Hutchison) have offered their new 4G service (launched Autumn 2013) at the same price as their existing 3G services, which is likely to attract swathes of new customers, and drive market prices down. No price plans are currently forthcoming from the other winners of the 4G spectrum auction – Telefonica o2, Vodafone and Niche Spectrum (BT).