EE announces cheaper 4G tariffs

EE has announced a new best value 4G mobile phone contract, although there's still no sign of an unlimited data deal

23 Jan 2013
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EE has responded to complaints about the small data allowances on its high-speed 4G network by lowering the prices of its existing tariffs - but still has yet to introduce an unlimited data deal.

Announced in October last year, EE's 4G contracts provide access to the company's high-speed mobile broadband services when paired with a Long Term Evolution (LTE) compatible handset. While download speeds might be fast, the data transfer allowances are paltry: the entry-level £36 SIM-free contract provides just 500MB of data transfer per month, which could be used up in less than six minutes of full-speed downloading.

Even the company's top-end tariff, which offers 8GB for £56, provides little in the way of a comfortable buffer for those looking to use the high-speed network for more than just browsing the web: at the peak 12Mb/s speeds promised by the network, that allowance can be used up in just an hour and a half.

To address these concerns, EE has revised its pricing and launched a new top-end package offering 20GB of data for £46 a month, based on a two-year SIM-free contract. Those picking up a handset as well, which they'll need if their current device doesn't support EE's LTE network, will see that figure jump to £61. For those who don't need 20GB of data transfer allowance, EE has dropped the cost of the 8GB SIM-free tariff from £56 to £41 a month, while the entry-level 500MB plan drops from £36 to £31.

Pricing for the 4G network is still at a premium, however, and for power users the lack of an unlimited data allowance is galling: the 20GB package equates to just under four hours of downloading each month based on a 12Mb/s LTE network performance. As other networks begin to roll out their own 4G upgrades later this year, EE will likely adjust its pricing - but, for now, high-speed mobile broadband comes with a significant cost premium attached.

The new 20GB plan is available until the 28th of February, after which the top-end offering will revert to the 8GB tariff, EE has stated.

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