Network provider Everything Everywhere (EE), is aiming to double the speed of its 4G network in 10 of the largest UK cities by this summer. This increase in speed from 40Mbps to 80Mbps will give the UK one of the fastest mobile internet services in the world, claims EE.
The roll-out will begin in Cardiff this month, with Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Sheffield set to follow with superfast 4G mobile broadband speeds.
How fast is superfast 4G?
The headline speed of 80Mbps is a peak speed – the highest speed customers can expect to receive. But in reality, most people are unlikely to regularly receive 80mpbs.
What customers can still expect to see is a doubling of their existing 4G speed, from between 8Mbps and 12Mbps to 20Mbps. That is still very fast, given that the average home broadband speed in the UK is just over 10Mbps.
This will make it possible to quickly download large photos and files, play online games and stream video content – even in high definition. Services such as Sky Go and Netflix are already offering streaming to certain smartphones, but their services need a fast connection.
To use EE’s 4G services you will need a 4G enabled phone such as an iPhone 5 or Samsung Galaxy S4. Read our mobile phone reviews to find out which phones are 4G capable and rated best in our rigorous lab tests.
4G data limits and high prices
EE is currently the only UK network provider that offers 4G access, although other network providers are expected to roll out their own 4G services in the next 12 months. While EE is promising increased speeds, the provider hasn’t mentioned if there will be any change to data limits, which could potentially lead to large bills for customers.
EE doesn’t currently offer an unlimited data package for 4G. The largest package you can buy is 20GB per month for £76, after which you’ll need to purchase further data.
With connections of up to 80Mbps, customers could run out of their 20GB allowance very quickly. When EE first rolled out 4G, we calculated that it could take just 3 minutes 20 seconds to get through their cheapest 500MB deal.