UK MOBILE OPERATOR EE on Tuesday switched on its 4G network, which finally sees high speed wireless connectivity arriving in the UK.
Available in 11 cities from today, EE's 4G network aims to deliver mobile web speeds five times faster than those picked up on 3G. We tested out the 4G network when it launched in the UK earlier this month, and were impressed to get download speeds of around 38Mbit/s.
Olaf Swantee, CEO of EE said, "This is a significant milestone for the United Kingdom, and for the people and businesses of our country who will now be able to enjoy the huge advantages of superfast 4G technology for the first time.
"We are very proud to be pioneering, innovating and leading our industry in launching 4G for our nation through our new EE brand."
Those who have already bought a 4G ready phone from Orange or T-Mobile will be able to take advantage of these speeds straight away. However, EE will also start selling its first 4G LTE phones from its newly branded stores today, including the Iphone 5, HTC One XL, Huawei Ascend P1 LTE, Samsung Galaxy S3 and Samsung Galaxy Note 2.
Ovum analyst Matthew Howett said the arrival of 4G in the UK could help the UK more from "laggard to leader" in the LTE market. However, he added that until another mobile operator - such as O2, Vodafone or Three - also launches 4G services, customers are unlikely to adopt 4G services quickly.
"Consumers will likely only see the true benefits of 4G when there is more than one player in the market, and that looks set to become a reality in mid-2013 when additional mobile spectrum is awarded for 4G," he said.
Of course, customers might also be put off by EE's pricing, as the network is asking for £56 a month for 8MB of monthly data. Ouch. µ