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?
— Which? Conversation (@WhichConvo) October 23, 2012