4g is go

With EE already in the market and O2 and Vodafone switching on their 4G service today, what will be the right deal for you?

For those living in a cave, 4G is the next generation of mobile internet (4th Generation) and promises speeds comparable to home broadband lines. In some instances, it can be even quicker than some fixed line options. 4G rolled out across parts of the developed world last year but was delayed in the UK given that the radio frequencies required were occupied by old analogue TV signals.

Now that you’re up to speed (sorry, necessary pun) we can take a look at why you may want it and importantly, what it will cost you.

The main benefit of 4G in the UK will be that all three main networks are promising to cover over 95% of the country by the end of 2015. This should mean that even rural areas will be able to use the faster speeds. While new towers have been going up, a large number of older towers are being converted to 4G to speed up the roll out.

Having an Internet connection in your pocket will have some immediately noticeable differences:

  • Faster everything. Web browsing, social media, gaming and email all as quick as a broadband line.
  • Video calls. The majority of smart devices can do these, but few people do outside of WiFi areas.
  • Streaming all the things. Music, Movies and TV will all be available on the go with the words ‘buffering’  becoming a relic.

All sounds a little familiar doesn’t it? Most of these things were said about 3G technologies as they have developed and there are many users who don’t go beyond Facebook and WhatsApp on their devices. Those services were born out of mobile connectivity though, imagine what fast speeds could bring.

If you’re feeling the need for speed and can see some value to it in your life, well, you’re going to need a contract. Over the last 4 years, the way contracts have changed has been staggering. There was once a time when a mobile phone contract was for 12 months and a free handset was a blessing rather than a burden. Now with devices costing far more, a subsidised contract is the default and if you chose the wrong handset you’re lumbered with it for 2 years.

To help you figure out what’s best for you, we’ve broken down the best options from the big three providers in the table below.

UK 4G Plans Table

There’s a lot of choice. This is a good thing for us consumers and allows you the chance to get what is right for you. Choice can also be tough, so let’s break down some key facts from this table:

  • EE have the most 4G coverage at the moment. Vodafone and O2 will catch up.
  • O2 are offering you extra data for free and the freedom to change your handset when ever you like.
  • Vodafone want to give you either free music streaming or free sports TV to eat all that 4G data.
  • No one knows, publicly, what the new iPhones will cost in this scenario, but expect them to cost just like other handsets and have an up front fee.

(One thing to note on the free Spotify from Vodafone. If you were to get an iPhone, Apple are launching a similar service called iTunes Radio with their new phones and operating system, iOS 7.)

It’s a battle for your money and commitment, you can see below hoe Vodafone feel about it all:


Depending on the network you prefer and the devices you like, you have a good spread of choice. I’m not going to tell you which to buy, that’s your choice, I will say that as an existing O2 customer, the offer they have made (the 4G Promise) is tempting enough to keep my custom.

Happy 4G Day!


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