Three years ago, in September 2009, T-Mobile UK and Orange UK announced their intent to merge their wireless networks. Less than a year later, in May 2010, they unveiled “Everything Everywhere”, and a promise that they’d deliver the best coverage the UK has ever seen. Whether or not that’s true we’ll leave to our UK readers to decide.
Today though, the company has pulled a rabbit out of a hat. They’ve announced the UK’s first 4G LTE network and they’ve changed their branding. “Everything Everywhere” is now simply known as EE. And their 4G network, according to the company’s Twitter account, will cover 16 cities and a third of the country’s population by the end of this year.
So now the important questions: How fast is the network? EE says it’s 5x faster than 3G, but that doesn’t actually mean anything if they can’t give us an actual download speed. We’re looking forward to seeing some speed tests.
Speaking about speed tests, which devices are going to connect to this new fancy network? So far we have confirmation that Samsung’s Galaxy S III, HTC’s One XL, Huawei’s Ascend P1, and a handful of USB modems are going to be supported. There’s also the new iPhone, but let’s not talk about that, shall we?
When will other European countries get 4G LTE? Technically, a lot of them already have networks up and running. Finland, Germany, Polan, Sweden, Norway, and more, already have high speed wireless connectivity flowing through the air. The problem has been a severe shortage of devices. We’re hoping that EE kick starts the European LTE Revolution, but at the same time we’re cognizant of that fact that Europe’s 3G networks are already incredibly robust and offer plenty of speed.
We want to know: If you’re in the UK, are you going to switch to EE now or are you going to wait for more details to surface?
Update: Paul O’Brien, the founder of MoDaCo, just speed tested the Huawei Ascend P1 LTE!