/ Technology

Is 500MB enough mobile data for 4G?

When new technology comes out, you know you’re going to end up paying over-the-odds. And now 4G (the new faster mobile internet) has finally arrived in the UK, it’s no exception.

EE (Everything Everywhere) is making a big claim that you can now get ‘superfast’ downloads from just £36 a month.

What EE doesn’t add is that if you download data at its new peak 4G speeds, you’ll get through your 500MB monthly allowance in just 3 minutes and 20 seconds.

The cost of EE’s 4G packages

Now I’m as happy as anyone that 4G has finally arrived in the UK, I’ve been complaining about the delays for years. I also know that it was always going to cost a lot more than 3G services, thanks to EE having to upgrade its network. But should EE really be trumpeting its £36 a month figure when you could use the monthly allowance in less time than it takes the current world record holder (Hicham El Guerrouj) to run a mile?

OK, that’s at peak speeds you probably won’t get in practice, but even if you work it out at EE’s lowest estimate of the speeds you can expect (8Mb/s) it will still only take 8 minutes and 20 seconds. It’s like buying petrol through a monthly contract and then only getting enough fuel for you to get to work on Monday morning – even if you do get there at supersonic speed.

EE removes ‘bill shock’ danger

I’m impressed that EE has made efforts to remove the danger of bill shock by redirecting users to buy a new data bundle, rather than letting them run up a big bill. However, with data add-ons costing £3 for 50MB (50 seconds use at 8Mb/s), it could end up being a very frustrating and expensive way of using your phone.

4G was always going to be expensive, especially with EE currently working without a 4G competitor, but it should be offered in a realistic package – even if it takes away EE’s poster price. Are you scared away by EE’s 4G pricing?


fodzkmgev says:
15 April 2013

my ee bill is supposed to be 25 pounds a month and is not 38. i have unlimited texts and calls, it says *internet on your phone – what does this mean?
and what does detailled billig show like does it show the exact apps you used or?

DanielMq says:
15 April 2013

EE is a brand,

You are with t-mobile so contact them if u have problems

This is the letter I plan on sending to EE (shows my stance on the matter):

I am writing to you again to tell you how of how appalled I am with the product and services that you offer.

I have recently purchased the Apple iPhone 5 and switched networks from Vodafone to Everything Everywhere. I was happy to join Everything Everywhere because of your temporary exclusive rights to the 4G network, however I have been infuriated and deeply disappointed with the product and services that you have offered thus far and am seriously considering cancelling my contract. I purchased the Apple iPhone 5, 32gb on a ‘Pay Monthly’ plan with unlimited minutes and texts (which is unnecessary for most customers) as well as 1gb of data allowance. After just 2 and a half weeks into my new phone contract I received a text message which stated that my data allowance limit had been reached. I pay £41 per month, so that I can use all of the features on this handset and the fact that such an extortionate monthly price plan should consist of features such as 1gb of data allowance which lasts for 2 and a half weeks is an absolute farce. I previously owned the iPhone 4 and I did not exceed my data allowance in 2 years and the fact that I am using this handset in exactly the same manner as my iPhone 4 and have now reached my data allowance limit is infuriating, as I purchased the contract on the premise that EE offers 4G ‘super-fast’ internet, however due to the ridiculous data allowance offered, I no longer use 4G and my handset is currently an ‘expensive iPhone 4.’

I went to the EE store in Vicarage Fields, Barking and found the staff very unhelpful. The staff told me that I could pay an extra £5 per month for an extra 1gb of data allowance which is a disgrace as £46 per month is extortionate. I honestly do not understand how you can offer a 4G handset with 1gb of data allowance when 4G loads data faster and is inevitably going to eat up lots more data. However, I was not informed of this at the point of sale, in fact, the sales adviser told me I had the option of either a 500mb or 1gb of data allowance. I was not given an option for more data or to negotiate a more reasonable price because I am fully aware that these price plans are not ‘fixed prices’ or ‘set in stone,’ as I know of other customers which a much more attractive deal.

I am deeply upset with the service offered by Everything Everywhere and rue my decision to have joined your network. If I had the opportunity to rescind the contract I would but unfortunately I will have to wait another 24 months before I can switch back to Vodafone. I expect a swift resolution to the matter.

Trev says:
22 May 2013

I have had exactly the same problem since changing from my 3g contract to EE’s 4g. I have the HTC one & was advised that, as my usage on 3g was only approx 650mb/month (and had never gone over 1.1GB), to go for the 1GB data package from EE. This, as yours, ran out in 2 and a half weeks. After a few phone calls, they added 1GB extra on my package for free. This sounded perfect until this, strangely, ran out in 5 days. I am using my phcustomer service teamno differently to how I used it before going to 4g apart from I no longer use my phone’s sat nav & haven’t been on video streaming sites such as YouTube. I used to be able to watch live football or films on my SkyGo app when not at home but now, I’ve been scared off from doing this as it will eat up too much data.
EE have made mistakes with my billing & I have been lied to by their customer service team.
Although they say I have used 2.048 GB in just over 3 weeks, the data usage on my phone says that I have only used 1.19GB since new?? I only use FB, StreamZoo & check the news (+ a few Google searches) so where has all this data been used?
I will be reporting this & all my other issues with the Ombudsmen. I would rather be back on 3g & be able to use my phone without worrying how much it will cost me to use it.

JohnnieH says:
21 May 2013

As far as I’m concerned all this talk about superfast 4G is entirely academic. Where I live (in the middle of Somerset and definitely not ‘out in the sticks’ we have no decent 3G coverage, and when I am travelling around 2G is extremely patchy. Heaven knows how long I’ll have to wait for 4G, and one thing is certain – now the operators have got a ‘new toy in their box’ they won’t worry about extending 3G and 2G coverage into the not-spots.

I was glad to see that in the latest allocations the Government included an obligation to get as wide coverage as possible as quickly as possible – but I’m not holding my breath! In an ideal world the operators should have been prohibited from providing the service inside the M25 until they had got at lease, say, 75% coverage elsewhere!

DanielM says:
23 May 2013

The “4G” They have is LTE which is technically 3g not 4g. and therefor sites with LTE should see improvement with hspa+ etc and possible dc-hsdpa (upto 42Mbps)

Sure Save says:
20 June 2013

LTE and all types is 4th generation wireless technology. No type of LTE is 3G, that’s rubbish. It operates on different bands using a different technology.

Daniel says:
20 June 2013

Wrong! Clearly you believe all the marketing.

LTE is 3g. although marketed as 4g.

its based on UMTS and a further to the HSPA+/DC-HSDPA+

From Wikipedia.

“The standard is developed by the 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project) and is specified in its Release 8 document series, with minor enhancements described in Release 9.”

“Although marketed as a 4G wireless service, LTE (as specified in the 3GPP Release 8 and 9 document series) does not satisfy the technical requirements”