EE is turning the screw on rival operators who can't offer 4G by turning on "double 4G" in 12 UK cities tomorrow and offering a raft of new 4G services to businesses and consumers.
EE, which owns the Orange and T-Mobile brands in the UK, stole a march on Three, O2 and Vodafone when it was allowed by regulator Ofcom to use existing 3G spectrum to launch 4G services last year.
The other operators won new 4G spectrum in an Ofcom auction this spring but so far none have announced their 4G switch-on dates - leaving an open market to EE, which now claims to already offer 4G to over 55 percent of the UK population.
EE will officially switch on double-speed 4G in 12 UK cities tomorrow (4 July), offering a "theoretical maximum" top speed of 150mbps, and at least doubling the current 4G average speed to 24-30mbps, said EE.
Double-speed 4G will be available in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Derby, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Nottingham and Sheffield.
"Double-speed 4G from EE will provide an even better experience for customers when enjoying HD videos, sharing high resolution pictures, sending large files, multi-tasking and tethering multiple devices," EE beamed.
Double-speed 4G is available to all existing 4GEE customers at no extra cost while they remain on their current 4GEE plan, although they may well eat up their data allowances much faster, potentially incurring extra costs.
Olaf Swantee, CEO of EE, said: “We’re staying one step ahead with the launch of double speed 4G and a range of new innovative plans and services, designed to transform the way our customers connect and share content."
New services around 4G will be launched by EE on 17 July. These include shared 4G plans, allowing customers to connect up to five separate devices to one plan. Customers will receive one bill for all of their devices on their shared plan.
There will also be a new pay-as-you-go 4G mobile broadband plan for customers who want the convenience of superfast speeds on tablets or laptops without a monthly contract.
There will also be the launch of the Cash on Tap mobile phone payments system in partnership with MasterCard, which can be used at 230,000 outlets, including McDonald’s, Boots and Greggs.
Also from 17 July, customers who sign up to a 24 month EE 4G phone plan before 30 September will receive data allowances which are double, triple or even quadruple the size of current standard plans. Existing customers can take advantage of the bigger data allowances offered during the promotion by upgrading their plan to the next price point, said EE.