Everything Everywhere, the company formed from the combined forces of Orange and T-Mobile in the UK, has today been rebranded as EE to coincide with the company’s launch of the UK’s first 4G services.
The new brand will officially sit alongside Orange and T-Mobile but users will soon see their phone’s signal indicator showing EE rather than Orange or T-Mobile.
The only brand of the three to offer 4G services, along with fibre optic broadband access, EE is being tipped as the nation’s speedy network with the UK’s first 4G networks set to be rolled out across major cities in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, the company has announced that it sees Orange maintaining a purpose for those that want more from their phone, with the Orange offer schemes, and those that want fast 3G. As for T-Mobile, it’s being positioned in somewhat murkier waters as the straight-up, good value offering.
Confirming the 4G rollout will start with trials in London, Birmingham, Cardiff and Bristol in the near future, EE has revealed that once tested it will introduce the high-speed service to 16 more cities by Christmas. EE also hopes to make London the first fully covered 4G European city. Further down the line, the company hopes to have 98% UK coverage by 2014.
Unveiling the new EE brand alongside the company’s whizzy animated logo at the London Science Museum this morning, September 11th, EE Chief Executive Olaf Swantee described the UK’s move from 3G to 4G networks as “the communications equivalent of the change the jet engine made over steam.”
With the EE brand looking to highlight its new digital focus, the UK’s first 4G network, which will feature an aqua and yellow logo for its consumer brand and a more demure grey and ivory offering for business use, received a rousing endorsement with Mayor of London Boris Johnson hailing the company’s intent to bring London ”the greatest 4G network in the world.”
As the UK lags behind the likes of the US and some European nations with its as yet nonexistent 4G networks, regulator Ofcom earlier this year controversially endorsed Everything Everywhere’s plans to reuse its current mobile spectrum to introduce new, faster 4G services.
Whilst the introduction of 4G to the UK is sure to appeal to customers, speaking with The Telegraph, Mark Newman of Informa Telecoms and Media has suggested EE will face a number of hurdles to overcome before 4G is widely adopted.
“EE will have to be careful about over-promising on 4G capabilities particularly given that the network will only cover 30% of the population by the end of this year,” He said. “It will need to strike a balance between extolling the virtues of 4G in terms of speed and latency while, at the same time, continuing to invest in, and market its 3G network capability.”
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Although EE has yet to offer any pricing structures for its first 4G services, it is believed early adaptors will need to part with at least £40 per month in order to make use of the 3G toppling network. Whilst a plethora of 4G enabled handsets are already available, it is believed the upcoming iPhone 5 will be one of the first devices to be made available for the new EE network.
Are you chomping at the bit to sign up to the UK’s first 4G network? Will you be making the jump to EE or holding out for more competition, stronger coverage and cheaper prices? Let us know via the comments boxes below or through the Trusted Reviews Twitter and Facebook feeds.
For all iPhone 5 updates and rumours visit our round-up page.