Mobile Phone Mast

Today sees the launch of the UK’s first 4G network. It’s quite a small network with availability only in the following cities: London, Manchester, Bristol, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield, Glasgow and Southampton.

I don’t have a 4G device, well I do, I have the third generation iPad, but I don’t think that will work with EE’s 4G. I can’t actually find out if this isn’t the case, but I am pretty sure that is correct.

I am thinking about getting an iPhone 5 that supports 4G to replace my ageing 3GS. Though as the 3GS is still running iOS 5 I might keep it for the Maps app! However I am expecting Apple to turn off that existing Maps app in a year’s time when their licence for Google maps runs out.

To be honest what I really need is a 4G MiFi or similar so I can take advantage of 4G with all my devices. EE will start selling SIM only deals next month.

The tariffs from EE are quite expensive, £36 per month gets you just 500MB of data which is not much… a typical BBC iPlayer programme is half that! It goes up to £51 for 8GB.

So though I would like to have 4G I don’t think I can afford it!

Another factor that has taken me by surprise is by how slow the reported speeds of 4G are. I have always thought of 4G as speeds in and around 100Mbps. However from the news reports I have seen today have spoken about 15Mbps.

EE’s own press release says that their 4G is only five times faster than 3G.

The UK’s first 4G mobile service will launch on Tuesday October 30th, offering consumers and businesses a new way to access the people, places and things they want on the move, with speeds typically five times faster than 3G.

So as well as wondering about the costs of 4G, I am not even sure with the limited geographical availability and lower than expected speeds, I don’t think 4G is for me at this time.