Thursday 1 November 2012

Is UK 4G worth getting?

4G UK coverage map
What UK cities will be covered by 4G by Christmas?
EE has given the UK 4G for a handful of days now, but is the 4G network really better than current 3G networks in Britain?

EE 4G tested and compared to 3G

A major national newspaper did some stringent tests to evaluate whether it was worth upgrading to the mobile broadband with a promised 5 times faster speed than other mobile phone networks. EE was tested in a Railway Station, a lift, a cafe, a cab and in a shop. The biggest difference was found in the railway station with EE having a speed 18 times faster than 3G networks with 36.2 Mbps speeds logged.
Streaming TV in a cafe over 4G was more than workable with 13.2 Mbps speeds.
Generally the test did have a good case for 4G with speeds consistently reaching between 7.3 to 36mbps.
However there are still some teething problems with some websites inaccessible by UK 4G at the moment. It is also a costly business with capped data downloads hitting the plus 30 pound cost margin- a disgrace when some Eastern countries like South Korea offer unlimited LTE downloads for a fraction of the price.

Why 4G isn't for you:
2 Major reasons could stop you from adopting 4G, the first is if your mobile phone supports it. There are not a major amount of devices that support in the UK at the moment, this is the list that Everything Everywhere has said support 4G at the moment:

Nokia Lumia 920 and Lumia 820, the Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE, the HTC One XL and the Huawei Ascend P1 LTE.
 You can add the iPhone 5, Sony Mobile Xperia Ion and Motorola Razr M to the list. 

Ways to connect non 4G phones to EE
Two devices coming out soon might make it possible to connect non 4G devices to a 4G network. The Huawei E589 is a self standing Mi-Fi device with the ability to connect up to 10 non LTE phones to the faster network. The E392 is basically a dongle that can connect to both 3G and 4G.

The second reason to wait is that other competing networks are working on their versions and at the moment EE is supported in only a limited amount of locations in the United Kingdom.

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