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
is also rumoured to have LTE support, then you can expect
that this will be on EE as well.
As for branding, the EE name replaces the unlovely
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.
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