A new report out today indicates UK mobile carriers Three and EE have reached a deal to work together, including the sharing of costs, for the next phase of their 4G LTE network buildout. According to reports, the two carriers will share masts and backhaul transmission costs to the tune of $1.63 Billion USD. The report says that while the infrastructure and costs are being shared between the two carriers, other components are not being shared. Notably, “the antennas, spectrum and the core network” will remain separate. This means each carrier will still have control over speed and coverage for their networks.
The initial impression in the industry is that the deal will be more beneficial for Three which has been trailing other carriers in building out a 4G LTE presence. Meanwhile, EE has already deployed a significant 4G LTE footprint. With some additional capital flowing into the deal from a partner, EE hopes to maintain its early lead in the market. The other major players, Vodafone and O2, have their own agreement in place to partner in building out a 4G network.
source: Android Central
Today, United Kingdom carrier EE announced that there is a 4G LTE roaming agreement in place with AT&T. AT&T users in an EE LTE market area will automatically connect to EE’s network. That network boasts a 24-30Mbps average download speed and is currently in 160 different cities.
Just like the deal with Rogers, AT&T users will have to have the Data Global Add-On package to benefit from this agreement. Unlike T-Mobile’s Simply Global plan, that allows unlimited global data at no extra cost, you’ll be paying a pretty penny to take advantage of international roaming. Either $30/month will get you 120MB or you can get 300MB for $60/month.
That, however, may be worth it for some people to have access to LTE internationally. EE is looking to expand even further with more carriers in the coming year, so be on the lookout for that.
UK “Facebook phone” fans will have to wait to see if they ever get the HTC First. A spokesperson for carrier EE in the UK confirmed in a statement that Facebook has “recommended holding off launching the HTC First in the UK” as they work on a better Facebook Home experience with new customization features.
Facebook’s prized phone is not having much success in the United States, with the price dropping from $99 to under a dollar, followed by news that the phone will reportedly be discontinued by AT&T. It will be interesting to see if the improvements Facebook makes to Home will spark a renewed interest in users who had previously given up on the app.
Source: Android Central
EE, one of the UK’s most advanced communications company, has announced it will double its current 4G speeds for its customers. They plan to launch the faster network in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, and Sheffield by summer 2013.
In order to increase speeds to what they are calling “4GEE“, they will need to increase both their network’s capacity and coverage. EE will double the amount of 1800MHz spectrum capacity bandwidth from 10MHz to 20MHz. According to EE’s Chief Executive Officer, Olaf Swantee, “We are ensuring that the UK remains at the forefront of the digital revolution. Having already pioneered 4G here, we’re now advancing the country’s infrastructure again with an even faster, even higher-capacity network, and at no extra cost to our customers.”
In the U.S., the HTC First is an AT&T exclusive, but in the UK it’s going to be EE. No word on pricing or availability, but we are assuming it will become available soon after the U.S. April 12 launch.
The HTC First is the first and only phone to have the complete Facebook Home experience out of the box. Of course, people can still enjoy Facebook Home on other phones by downloading the app (starting April 12), but it will only be available on the Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note II, Galaxy S 4, the One X, and the One X+, at least for now.
EE has been making strides in the UK and just announced 4G speeds available in 13 more locations. Customers in Bradford, Bingley, Doncaster, Dudley, Harpenden, Leicester, Lichfield, Loughborough, Luton, Reading, Shipley, St Albans and West Bromwich are now covered. EE now covers 50 regions with 4G and with this latest rollout, covers 50 percent of the UK. The carrier also plans on rolling out 4G speeds to 30 more towns and cities by June. You can read the full press release below and if you’re looking to grab the Galaxy S 4, EE started pre-orders today.
So we thought that EE’s launch of its super-fast LTE network would be welcome with open arms, but it appears there’s a slower adoption rate than expected. According to the 2012 year-end results from the wireless carrier, there were only 201,000 new subscribers for Q4, which is a mild disappointment to say the least. Fortunately, the wireless carrier was able to utilize its growing LTE network to springboard more of its customers into embracing smartphone use, which falls in line with some studies that we’ve heard before.
It’ll probably be a while before UK mobile users shy away from those HSPA+ networks until carriers like EE come up with a compelling reason for why LTE should be used. EE will certainly have its work cut out for it in the meantime.
What do you do if you’re EE and have an ever-growing 4G LTE network to tout? You announce the availability of some new devices of course. EE has gone ahead and announced its plans to sell the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 LTE and a Nexus 7 + 4G Mifi bundle. While the prices aren’t exactly competitive, EE has different price options & data bundles for both devices:
It’s no surprise that EE is a pioneer in not only bringing 4G LTE devices to the UK, but bringing 4G LTE coverage to various markets and areas as well. Today the wireless carrier has announced it is flipping on the 4G LTE switch to the following markets in the UK: Bradford, Chelmsford, Coventry, Doncaster, Dudley, Leicester, Luton, Newport, Reading, Rotherham, St Albans, Sunderland, Sutton Coldfield, Walsall, Watford, West Bromwich and Wolverhampton. That means those of you living in one of those cities will finally be able to enjoy the true 4G speeds from today. In addition, EE has also announced a major enhancement to its existing 3G HSPA+ by upgrading its 3G pipeline to a dual-channel HSPA+… also known as DC-HSPA+ for short. The DC-HSPA+ upgrade should be ready by the end of this year and should be available to approximately 40% of all EE, Orange & T-Mobile customers with a compatible handset.
Now if we can only do something about those steer 4G LTE prices, customers will really be in business. Full details can be found in the presser once you hit the break.
Earlier today, EE announced on Twitter that customers would be able to receive free WiFi on the London Underground. There was also speculation that it would also include Virgin Media customers, and also provide free WiFi in 72 underground stations in London. Fast-forward through the day, and tweets were deleted, comments were declined from both parties, and it seemed like EE might’ve jumped the gun on the free WiFi announcement.