UK: EE’s first 4G LTE Androids out today, Galaxy Note II on October 15. 4G services live on October 30
Here’s some news for you if you’re in the UK and are interested in the pace of development of LTE networks over there. EE, formerly known as Everything Everywhere, has made some important announcements on the matter today. If you recall, the joint venture between Orange and T-Mobile will get the first shot at launching 4G LTE services in the UK.
And that will happen on October 30. That’s right, in less than a month you’ll be able to surf at LTE speeds in the UK. The services will launch using the new EE brand, which we assume will slowly replace both Orange and T-Mobile. Ten major cities will be covered on launch day, namely Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, and Sheffield. Six more cities will join in before the end of the year.
Plans and pricing for the 4G network haven’t been made public yet. However, if you want to get a 4G LTE-capable smartphone, you can do that already. You can pick one up from either Orange or T-Mobile, and both operators promise to ensure a very smooth transition to the LTE service after it launches if you so wish.
Alongside Apple’s iPhone 5, you can now also get the Samsung Galaxy S III LTE, the Huawei Ascend P1 LTE, and the HTC One XL from Orange or TMo. Keep in mind that the plans listed at those operators’ websites right now are for their respective 3G services only. We’re hoping EE will announce all the pricing details for its 4G services pretty soon.
If the Samsung Galaxy Note II is what you’re after, you should know that it will be available, with LTE support, starting on October 15.
In other 4G LTE and UK related news, Ofcom has announced that it’s managed to accelerate the timetable for 4G auctions and deployment (let’s not forget that EE’s effort is supposedly experimental).
What this means in practice is that you could see competitors to EE’s 4G LTE service as soon as spring 2013, six months earlier than the previous estimation of autumn, following an auction in January. That will be very good for consumers, but the UK is still lagging behind many other countries in this regard. Let’s hope those LTE services will be well worth the wait.