It’s fair to say that EE has milked its 4G exclusivity as much as humanly possible since launching it 10 months ago. Offering contracts that are comparatively expensive when placed alongside T-Mobile or Orange plans. The message: You can have LTE, but it’ll cost you. In fact, Vodafone and O2 have both announced that their plans will be pretty similar price wise. With each carrier offering plans from £26 per month, it’s fair to say that even the lowest SIM-only plan is a lot more expensive than the cheapest regular SIM-only plan.
Thankfully, one carrier is seeking to change that approach. Three UK has again confirmed that it will not be charging any extra for 4G access. In fact, if you are a Three customer, you don’t have to do anything at all to switch if you already have a 4G-compatible device. And for you iPhone 5 users (unlike on Vodafone and O2) that also includes you since Three uses the same iPhone compatible bandwidths/spectrum as EE.
We’re on track to launch in Q4 and we will offer 4G at no extra charge. When we switch on our 4G network well over a million of our customers will already have a 4G device so they will get automatic and hassle-free access in 4G areas without the need to change plans or sim cards. Everyone on Three with a 4G device will be able to enjoy our 4G services as we roll out the network across the country to add capacity to what is already the UK’s fastest 3G network.
Once available, anyone within 4G range will automatically switch. And – best of all – if you happen to have a One Plan with all-you-can-eat data, you still get the same allowance for the same price as before. Considering that none of the other carriers is even close to offering unlimited data, that is a stunning deal.
As of yet we don’t have any detailed news on which cities will get 4G rolled out first on Three, and we don’t know exactly when. But we do know that before 2014 swings around, Three will have 4G available, and it will be the best value for money on the market. By a long way.