Today in the UK EE have rolled out the first 4G LTE network. Yes, we have been a bit slow here in good old Blighty. However, what does this mean for us BlackBerry users? Well, at the moment it doesn't affect us at all as none of the Blackberry 7 range are LTE compatible, but come the New Year and we will get a slice of the pie.
As we all know, Blackberry 10 will launch in Q1 2013 and the devices will support LTE. So if you are in the UK and pick one up on the EE network you will at least have a super fast internet connection. EE are still to confirm their support of BlackBerry 10 but I am 99% sure they will. In fact they would be totally bonkers not too bearing in mind their success with BlackBerry smartphones over the years.
As from today the following cities in the UK will have 4G coverage with an additional 2,000 square miles getting upgraded each month: Bristol, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Sheffield and Southampton.
The long term plan is for 98% of the UK to have LTE by the end of 2014. So if you are in one of the EE LTE catchment areas and are tempted by maybe an iPhone 5 or and Android device just so you have a super fast data connection I would advise you to be patient. The best is yet to come. 2013 will be here before we know it. In fact, it's nearly Christmas time!
You can catch the full EE press release below if you fancy checking out what they have to offer. They are also rolling out high speed fibre broadband to homes and business premises.
30th October 2012. London. Superfast services are available for consumers and businesses for the first time ever today as EE, the UK's most advanced digital communications company, launches its new 4G service in 11 cities.
The launch is set to offer a timely boost to the UK economy offering firms the opportunity to increase innovation, boost productivity and cut costs, as has been the experience of companies in countries such as the US, Sweden, Japan and Germany since the technology was first introduced.
Today also marks the arrival of over 700 EE stores on high streets across the country in one of the biggest and fastest transformations in UK retail history.
Olaf Swantee, CEO at EE, said: "Today is a landmark day for our company, the UK mobile industry and, most importantly, the country's businesses and consumers.
"But this is just the start as our 4G network will continue to grow stronger and wider by the day. We're investing £1.5 billion in our network to be the first company to offer mobile 4G in the UK, alongside the biggest 3G network. Combined with our Fibre Broadband and revolutionary service model we have a pioneering and unique offer to customers across the UK - superfast speeds in the home, superfast speeds on the move and expert service on nearly every high street in Britain."
The delivery of 4G and the company's retail transformation has been underpinned by an intensive employee training programme as well as a comprehensive national IT infrastructure upgrade to ensure that EE customers receive expert service.
In its first phase, the 4G service is going live in Bristol, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Sheffield and Southampton. This will allow users to:
• Access the web on the go in an instant
• Download large email attachments quicker than ever
• Watch live TV on the move without buffering
• Download high-definition movies in minutes
• Play live multiplayer games on the go
• Make high quality video calls on the move
And today's launch is just the start as 4G coverage from EE will expand by 2,000 square miles every month, both into new cities as well as providing denser coverage in existing areas. This means the service will be available in a further five cities before Christmas, with more cities and rural locations planned for 2013, and 98% of the population due to be covered by the end of 2014.
On average, 4G mobile coverage will be made available to around two million people in Britain every single month between now and the end of 2014, making this the fastest rollout of any UK network in history.
EE's Fibre Broadband, typically ten times faster in homes and offices, is available to 11 million premises from today as well. Ideal for households or small businesses with multiple devices, EE Fibre Broadband offers maximum download speeds of up to 76Mbps - allowing customers to stream HDTV, play online games, watch films on demand or quickly upload or download large files.
EE, T-Mobile and Orange customers will benefit from a new level of customer service, with 10,000 EE experts trained to serve and sell to customers in a new way, designed around specific handset types. These experts can be contacted over the phone, online, or in one of the 700 newly branded EE stores on the high street and in shopping centres.
4GEE plans come with unlimited minutes and texts as well as revolutionary and exciting new services, including EE Film, Clone Phone and inclusive nationwide BT Wi-Fi.
4G and the benefits to business
The world's first global study into 4G business benefits has been released today to mark EE's UK launch.
The study reveals that:
· 74% of UK businesses intend to adopt 4G within 12 months
· Newcastle's business community is showing the strongest demand for 4G, with eight out of 10 Newcastle-based firms (85%) intending to roll out the superfast mobile service within 12 months
· 78% in London plan to do the same
· CEOs and sales staff will be first in the business to use the new technology. The study noted a similar trend occurring in America.
British businesses expect 4G to help increase productivity (58%) and boost employee well-being and motivation (38%). The technology will also help firms compete through innovation - 50% want 4G so they can set up an internet connection quickly without having to wait for a fixed line to be installed. This is a boon for retailers wanting to set up a pop-up shop, or builders looking to set up a temporary office onsite.