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EE Launches 4G and 4GEE

Everything Everywhere, the joint venture that controls both T-Mobile and Orange in the UK has announced the rollout of its 4G LTE network to several UK cities by the end of the year, and at the same time it will rebrand itself as just EE.

The cities to get LTE by the end of 2012 are London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Derby, Glasgow, Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield and Southampton.

Smartphones available on the EE LTE network will include LTE versions of the Nokia Lumia 920 and Lumia 820, the HTC One X (called the One XL in LTE guise), Huaewei Ascend P1, Samsung Galaxy S III LTE plus a Huawei USB stick and MiFi box. All of these are big, powerful and expensive smartphones, but given the speeds that you can get from LTE it does seem rather appropriate. And because the next-generation iPhone also has LTE support, this will be on EE as well.

As for branding, the EE name replaces the unlovely Everything Everywhere and comes with a simple but fairly elegant new logo. T-Mobile and Orange stores will be replaced with the EE format (although there will probably be some consolidation) and the network indicator on customer phones should change to EE soon as well. T-Mobile and Orange price plans will continue to be sold by EE, although ultimately we would expect those to be replaced at some time in the future.

If this launch goes well, then it could be a very big deal for EE and the industry in the UK as a whole. However, many customers still cannot get a reliable 3G signal on their current networks (although T-Mobile Orange have improved a lot in the past year) and LTE really must reach into all those urban nooks and crannies to be a success.

With theoretical download speeds of up to 100Mbps (we saw 45Mbps or so in test shots), LTE is certainly appealing. You can find out more about the EE network on the Orange or T-Mobile websites.



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