UK smartphone fans have had some great news today as Everything Everywhere (the parent company of Orange and T-Mobile) have launched a new brand simply called "EE". Although Orange and T-Mobile will continue to operate and sell 3G phones, it is EE that is rolling out 4G LTE at long last. Yes, us poor folk in the UK have been stuck with 3G for some time now so today's news is a Godsend.
At the event today there were not any BlackBerry 10 phones and they were not mentioned in the future line up(although I am sure they will be) however I got hands on with a couple of 4G enabled handsets including the Samsung Galaxy SIII and thought I had better shoot some video for CrackBerry just so the good people of the UK know what is in store for them them when BB10 rolls out next year. As you will see the results are rather impressive and data speeds are better than many UK residents have on their home broadband.
You can see a second video after the break along with the official press release.
11th September 2012. London.
Everything Everywhere today announced the launch of EE - the UK's most advanced digital communications company.
EE will become the new name of the Everything Everywhere business and its network.
EE will also be launched as a new superfast customer brand in the coming weeks. It is a brand born in the digital age, designed to serve both consumers and businesses, offering the UK's only 4G mobile service and complemented by fixed-line fibre broadband.
The new EE brand will stand alongside Orange and T-Mobile. Together they will provide mobile services to 27 million people, now served by the UK's biggest and best network.
Olaf Swantee, CEO of EE said: "Today we launch a new company, a new network and a new brand for Britain.
"Our plans to revolutionise the UK communications market with a faster network and an exciting new brand for the digital age are built on solid investment and a simple belief that customers deserve better.
"We look forward to connecting the country with superfast mobile speeds in the coming weeks, months and years.
"And it starts today, with the announcement of our new business, our new brand and a new digital infrastructure that our company, our customers and the country can be proud of."
EE - superfast 4G and fibre
The EE customer brand will launch with 4G services for consumers and businesses in the coming weeks.
It will be the first brand in the country to offer a mobile 4G service - the pioneering new technology that offers superfast mobile internet at speeds typically five times faster than 3G speeds today.
EE will also launch a fibre broadband service to homes and businesses with fixed-line internet speeds typically ten times faster than today's average broadband speeds.
It means that EE's 4G customers will be the first in the UK to enjoy superfast speeds on their mobile and at home or at work.
With superfast 4G mobile, customers will be able to:
- Access the web on the go without waiting
- Download high-definition movies in minutes
- Watch live TV on the move without buffering
- Play live multiplayer games on the go
- Download large email attachments quicker than ever
- Make high quality video calls on the move
Four cities - London, Bristol, Cardiff and Birmingham - are switched on today for the company's engineers to begin live testing and systems integration, in readiness for the customer launch.
EE's 4G network will cover a third of the UK population in 2012 - over 20 million people - and customers on the EE brand will also have access to the largest 3G network in the UK outside of the 4G cities. Further towns, cities and rural areas, will follow rapidly with 2013 population coverage to reach 70%, with 98% covered by 2014.
EE's 2012 launch schedule will see 16 areas of the country connected to 4G by Christmas - the UK's four capitals and twelve other major cities. The 16 cities are London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Derby, Glasgow, Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield and Southampton.
EE will offer a range of state-of-the-art devices alongside its superfast 4G mobile network with more to be announced shortly. Today, EE confirmed it is to launch the following 4G devices:
- Samsung Galaxy SIII LTE - with a 4.8 inch HD Super AMOLED display, you can watch videos on your mobile like never before. Innovative Smart Stay automatically recognises when you are looking at the phone, maintaining a bright display for continued viewing pleasure.
- Nokia Lumia 920 - flagship Nokia Windows Phone 8 smartphone. Take bright, blur-free photos and videos in any light conditions with PureView technology - Optical Image Stabilisation and Carl Zeiss lens and view on a 4.5'' PureMotion HD+ capacitive display.
- Nokia Lumia 820 - colourful, stylish, innovative design, with a 4.3 OLED WVGA screen. Capture great photos and movies with an 8MP Auto Focus camera, with Carl Zeiss optics and dual LED flash. Charge wirelessly without plugging in using a Wireless Charging Shell.
- The HTC One XL - high quality entertainment and precision navigation combine in this handset, thanks to a large 4.7" HD touchscreen display. Full HD video, and front and rear facing camera let you capture crisp, vivid photos and movies in high quality wherever you are.
- Huawei Ascend P1 LTE - a powerhouse dual-core processor is packed in to this handset's slim design. Take stunningly clear images or HD videos on an 8MP autofocus camera with LED flash and playback on the 4.3" high-res touchscreen.
- Huawei E589 Mobile WiFi - hook up to five devices to the EE 4G network, making your existing phone, laptop or digital screen superfast even if they're not 4G. Long battery life of up to 10 hours, enjoy 4G wireless broadband anytime, anywhere.
- Huawei E392 Mobile Broadband stick - download and upload documents and files in super quick time on the go with this device. Make your laptop mobile and superfast, by hooking it up to the EE network. You'll stay compatible with 3G too and seamlessly switch to the optimal connection.
EE's superfast fibre broadband service will launch at the same time to complement the company's superfast 4G mobile service. It will be available to 11 million households and businesses by the end of the year reaching two thirds of UK households and businesses by the end of 2014.
The company also announced it is to open EE-branded stores with more than 700 being unveiled across Britain's high streets in line with its customer brand launch.
The new EE stores - formerly Orange and T-Mobile shops - will serve customers of all three brands, giving them access to service and sales in twice as many locations as before.
More than 10,000 EE staff have been trained, and will offer specialist advice in store, on the phone and on-line. The company has trained its Customer Team staff to become experts in mobile operating systems, meaning its customers will get a specialist service, regardless of which device they use. It is the only operator to offer dedicated expertise based around device operating systems.
The EE network
The EE network - which launches today - has been created by bringing together the former 3G and 2G networks of Orange and T-Mobile, coupled with a three-year £1.5bn investment for upgrades and new 4G services.
With the Orange and T-Mobile networks now combined, from today customers will begin switching over to the new seamless EE network, the largest in the UK. By the end of the year, all 27 million customers will be using the EE network.
It means that Orange and T-Mobile customers can now get faster 3G service, with speeds of up to 21Mbps, and more coverage than ever before.
EE will also launch superfast 4G mobile and fixed-line fibre broadband services in the coming weeks. It will also offer standard broadband via ADSL in non-fibre areas.
Orange and T-Mobile customers
Orange and T-Mobile customers will continue to benefit from the best 3G and 2G mobile network.
It means that from today - and over the coming months - customers using Orange and T-Mobile will begin to see their phone signal indicator change to EE, whether they are on 3G or 2G, showing that they are on the UK's biggest and best network. This is at no extra cost and there are no changes to their existing price plans.
Orange and T-Mobile plans will continue to be offered to new and existing customers, and Orange and T-Mobile customers will also be among the first to have the opportunity to access 4G through a move to the new EE customer brand.