EE announces shared 4G plans, as its customer base reaches 500,000

EE served as the UK's first carrier to offer 4G, and now it wants to rollout new plans to give customers more choice to access the network. In an announcement on Thursday, EE said it would offer shared 4G plans later this summer.

No specific details of the shared 4GEE plans were detailed, only that it wil allow mobile customers to share phone, text, and data across all of the phones and tablets hosted on their plan. Verizon and AT&T have been doing similar in the US, letting customers calculate a data plan for their whole family using a web-based calculator. Plans start at roughly $40 (£26) and can reach up-to $500 for a family that is really tearing through data. No word on how EE will handle it.

The new plans will help add to the 500,000 customers that EE says it now has, after launching a 4G network seven months ago. In the US, 4G adoption has taken off at a staggering rate, with leader Verizon blanketing almost 500 markets across the country. Take-up in the UK has been a little slower.

On Thursday, EE said it will be offering "double-speed 4G" in ten cities across the UK in the coming weeks. It will arrive first in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Sheffield. EE says this new type of 4G will offer speeds of up to 80Mbps - up substantially from the average 24-30Mbps coverage.

Furthermore, EE says that by the end of June it will cover 55 per cent of the UK and 98 per cent by the end of 2014. The carrier says it will soon be adding 4G coverage to Aberdeen, Bath, Bournemouth, Brighton, Cambridge, Ipswich, Middlesbrough, Northampton, Norwich, Poole, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Swansea and York, as it works to reach its coverage goal.

For tablet and laptop users who enjoy a 4G fix, EE said it would allow those customers to access 4GEE internet without a long-term contract through its new "Pay-As-You-Go Mobile Broadband" plan. Like the shared plans, EE has yet to detail pricing or availability for the new plan aimed at tablet and laptop users.

"We recognise that with 4G, customers connect to the things they care about more frequently, across more devices," Olaf Swantee, CEO of EE said. "Our Shared 4GEE plans and Pay as You Go 4GEE Mobile Broadband will offer our customers more ways to do this."



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