Archive for the ‘4G’ tag
EE announced that as of February 2, 2015, it stops selling Orange and T-Mobile plans and it won’t produce anymore PAYG SIM cards of these two brands.
It was believed that as a result of the deal with BT, EE will have to scrap their old brands, T-Mobile and Orange, by the time the operator is sold. Shortly after official announcement about the takeover, EE informed customers that their legacy brands are being phased out.
What it means is that since February 2 customers have not been able to get a monthly plan from direct sales channels like EE shops, while indirect channels offer T-Mobile and Orange contracts till the beginning of March. In terms of PAYG SIM cards, the published information says that EE has already stopped issuing new pay as you go SIM cards and all of these available in shops will become obsolete if not activated within a year. It is the last call if you want to become customer of any of the brands.
There are about 19 million customers in T-Mobile and Orange and the change will also affect them. They don’t need to sign a new contract straight away, but when the current one expires there will be no possibility to prolong it. EE has been actively promoting their 4G brand among that 19 million customers and it is said that already most of them are receiving exclusive deals to transfer their mobile services to EE. If you are a T-Mobile or Orange PAYG SIM card customer then it seems that EE will not force you to change the network but it hopes that the switchover will happen naturally as current T-Mobile and Orange pay as you go tariffs will not be updated so customers will eventually move to a network with better rates. It is still unknown how EE will try to attract their legacy brands’ PAYG SIM card customers to their 4G network.
EE explains the introduction of this idea by quoting their newest data which says that more than 90% of their new and upgrading customers choose EE over T-Mobile or Orange. As a result it won’t cause an upheaval if the brands are phased out as customers naturally go to EE. The 4G operator hopes to convert all T-Mobile and Orange customers to their 4G brand in the upcoming future and as so many people choose EE vast majority of customers will not feel forced to choose the new brand over the legacy ones. However, it is clear that EE did not expect such turn of events as last May its CEO stated that the T-Mobile and Orange brands “will stay for years” before finally phased out.
The ethnic MVNO looks into 4G as many of the MVNO’s customers select 4G services
In an interview with Mobile, Lycamobile’s CEO Chris Tooley stated that his company is disproving the belief that MVNOs can’t get access to 4G as Lyca’s customers showed that even MVNO consumers are eager to try out 4G services. This ethnic MVNO mostly known for providing PAYG SIM cards with very good international rates has entered the 4G market. The operator has been offering new bundled offers as well as state of the art 4G services and believes that 2015 is all about data and multiplay services.
Chris Tooley underlined that the company has seen an increase in the amount of data services sold while their text and call time revenues remained the same. Their strategy is to make customers use Lycamobile contracts or PAYG SIM cards as their primary or only mobile services. Currently, it is often the case that consumers use Lyca just for international calls and they change the SIM cards or phones for domestic usage. Lyca’s CEO explained that “by offering services such as 4G we’re more likely to encourage customers to use Lycamobile as their sole provider”.
The buzzword of this year in telecommunications services is quadplay. Many operators strive to offer their customers all modern telecoms services in one package: landline, mobile, Internet and TV services. Lycamobile has no infrastructure to provide all of these services but its CEO does not exclude a possibility that one day Lyca will be a player on the quadplay market. Nevertheless, this MVNO has a history of offering non-mobile services like their Lycamoney or Lycafly. Definitely, if the company ventures into different markets we might see services that will be catered for some ethnic minorities or immigrant workers rather than for example, a direct competition for BT or Sky in terms of TV.
We would like to see how a development of a classic ethnic MVNO into a diversified service provider will affect the company and their customers.
Slow expansion of 4G mobile network is not seen as a problem in Vodafone as they believe that content and reliability are the key.
Vodafone’s CEO, Jeroen Hoencamp informed that his network can provide 4G mobile services to roughly 50 percent of the British society. This is not a great achievement as all other 4G operators reached that milestone last year and they are their 4G customer base is much higher. Mr Hoencamp sees it differently. In his blog, he said that the roll out speed is not as important as the winning factors are network reliability and the content rather than providing the best speed possible.
Vodafone’s CEO has also said that for his company what is important is to have strong network and expand mobile coverage gradually. Vodafone’s low frequency spectrum is also much better for providing good indoor mobile coverage which for Vodafone may be the competitive advantage. Hoencamp emphasized his argument by showing that Vodafone doesn’t focus on providing the highest speeds possible like EE but on giving people meaningful content like their deal with Sky Sports on Spotify that’s include in some contract variants. He also adds that “people tend to take technology for granted, so we need to make it seamless and easy for people to use, and worry free, so that they can forget about it”. This explains that Vodafone’s approach is either to provide consistent mobile coverage across each particular area or not provide it at all.
To sum up, Hoencamp believes that people don’t really care what 4G is but they want to see how 4G can make their mobile phone experience better and how it will benefit them in a deeper sense not just by giving them faster download speed.
New technologies allow EE to promise 3G and 4G mobile coverage in 1,500 black spot communities
The largest British mobile operator, EE, has announced today that it will use micro networks to bring mobile coverage to around 1,500 rural communities that previously had none. This is possible thanks to a new technology that do not require large masts or miles of cable in order to provide mobile coverage. The new approach uses new micro networks that connect smaller mobile antennas to an appropriate nearby large mast. As a result, the cost of infrastructure is dramatically lowered and the operator can provide mobile coverage to remote locations in a viable way.
From the beginning of next year, EE plans to roll out micro networks that would provide voice and data mobile coverage for both 3G and 4G technology. The promise made today plans to implement 1,500 micro networks by 2017 in areas with non-existent or unreliable mobile coverage. EE has already started the project with the first community being connected today. The trials started in the village of Sebergham, in Cumbria, were less than 350 people live. County officials expressed their gratitude for involving their region first as people from the countryside down there will benefit from having a reliable mobile coverage. EE is now analysing other areas to check where deployment of micro networks is feasible.
EE CEO Olaf Swantee said: “We’ve been working closely with Government on the long-term ambition to bring voice coverage to more of the UK, and we believe that this world-first technology will demonstrate significant advancements against that vision.”
Ofcom’s research revealed that EE not only rules in terms of 4G mobile coverage but also offers the fastest speeds in the country.
Ofcom regularly conducts speed tests to see what the quality of service that operators offer is. This month the watchdog published a research into 4G and 3G performance that checked the quality of mobile coverage of four main mobile operators, i.e. EE, O2, Three and Vodafone. The test was done in five major British cities and included over 200,000 smartphone tests, both indoors and outdoors.
Ofcom checked both download and upload speeds, as well as web browsing speed and latency. All of these factors are important when using mobile Internet, as they ensure the quality of the experience. In terms of download speeds, the average result was just above 15 Mbit/s on 4G which was more than twice as much as on 3G (6.1 Mbit/s). It turned out that O2 and EE offered the best performance, as their average was 15.6 Mbit/s and 18.4 Mbit/s respectively. The result was followed by Vodafone which was just 1Mbit/s below the average and 3G UK was discovered to be the worst performing one with the speeds of roughly 11 Mbit/s. In terms of 3G speeds, again EE opened the list, followed by Vodafone that had just slightly worse result. The last two places were taken by 3G and O2. The results were almost the same in terms of upload speeds. However, the analysis of web-browsing experience showed that Three UK’s network ensures the fastest website loading time.
Ofcom also looked into mobile coverage of these operators. All of the operators showed that their 3G mobile coverage is above 90%, which complies with their terms of licence. In terms of 4G mobile coverage, Ofcom analysed the period between June 2014 and October 2014. The study was based on data provided by operators which was then crosschecked with Ofcom’s own field measurements. The top scorer in this category was again EE. It can boast having 70% of indoor mobile coverage in studied cities, followed by 51% of O2 and Vodafone. Although EE is the best, the biggest improvement was seen in Vodafone’s mobile coverage as it jumped from 37% in June to 51% in October. Due to some technical problems they couldn’t measure Three UK’s 4G mobile coverage but looking at other research one can see that they have the lowest 4G coverage in the UK.
Ed Richards, Ofcom Chief Executive, commented on the research by saying: “Having fast, reliable broadband on the move is vital for many consumers and businesses across the UK. Today’s research shows 4G is providing a significantly enhanced mobile broadband experience to customers, which we expect to be available to 98% of the UK population by 2017 at the latest.”
“Improving mobile quality of service is an important area of Ofcom’s work. Our research both incentivises mobile providers to offer a higher quality of service, while helping consumers choose a mobile package that best suits their needs.”
5.6 million customers was enough for EE to be named the largest 4G mobile operator in this part of the world.
British joint-operation of two multinational mobile operators, EE has amassed enough customers to be the biggest 4G network in the Old World. This fact surfaced as the provider disclosed its Q3 report in which they admitted to adding 1.4 million 4G customers in the last three months. As a result, the total number of both 4G PAYG SIM cards and post-paid ones at EE is 5.6 million, making the operator the largest 4G network in Europe. This is unprecedented growth as their 4G customer base increased fourfold during one year.
EE’s Q3 results also showed that it gained a significant amount of contract customers, while their PAYG SIM card customer base shrank by 11% year-on-year. Additionally, EE boasts having signed up another 700 corporate customers that use 4G. The trends also show that more than 80% of new customers choose a 4G tariff. It is definitely to a large extent due to EE’s mobile coverage that now reaches to more than 48 million people that live in 281 towns and cities and more than 2,500 villages and small towns.
Even though EE has been growing its customer base, the financial results are rather stagnant. The operating revenue did not change a lot year on year as it went down by 1.2% from 1.54 billion pounds to 1.52. However, if we don’t take into consideration regulatory costs, their revenue was stable at 0% year-on-year.
The company wants to build on current results and see their future in revenues from data and providing customers with new double speed 4G. Additionally, they want to expand their range of services, for example, by adding EE TV, which is a TV smart box for freeview channels and on-demand video.
Vodafone extends its 4G roaming to next 19 destinations around the world
On October 14, Vodafone announced that they decided to expand their superfast 4G roaming service to new countries around the globe. If you recall, Vodafone introduced 4G roaming in four European countries: Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain in May. To support huge data usage overseas, Vodafone also launched two services earlier this year. They are EuroTraveller and WorldTraveller. Both of them allow Vodafone customers to use their UK allowance and tariff while being abroad for a fixed daily fee. For Europe, that fee is £3, while for the WorldTraveller, it is £5. It should be noted that “world” is limited to 9 countries: Australia, Egypt, Ghana, India, New Zealand, Qatar, South Africa, USA and Brazil. The last one is available to the end of this month.
The rules for both EuroTraveller and WorldTraveller state that you will be charged on the days you use your phone and for the purpose of this deal a day starts at midnight and finishes at 23:59 local time. This means that if you start using roaming at 10 p.m on one day and finish at 1 a.m. the next day, you will be charged for 2 days of usage. Additionally, WorldTraveller is limited to contract customers, however, you can use EuroTraveller with PAYG SIM cards. In fact, EuroTraveller is even better deal for pay as you go customers because it also comes with 100MB free data.
Now Vodafone enlarges its 4G roaming capabilities to 19 new countries: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Romania, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan and USA. Unfortunately, it only includes 3 countries that are covered by WorldTraveller, but still it is better than nothing.
Having 4G mobile coverage in more countries is definitely a strong advantage for Vodafone as customers will not have to slow down when they fly abroad and will still be able to use the Internet at high speeds. This shows how important development of new network is important for operators and their customers. Vodafone promises that it is not the end and they will keep adding more 4G destinations in the future.
The first 4G operator wants to reinforce its position by offering 4G packs from just £1 a week
EE updated their 4G tariffs for their PAYG customers in an attempt to increase their customer base and reaffirm their market leader position. Their new range of tariffs starts from just 1 quid a week. This obviously aroused the imagination of the market and the operator called it a breakthrough in terms for providing 4G service to PAYG SIM card users.
There are 3 new types of bundles for pay as you go (payg sim card) available at EE: Data, Talk and Text and Everything.
The only available Data pack is the mostly advertised £1 pack that comes with 10 minutes, 10 texts and 100MB of data and is renewable every 7 days. It is hardly enough for any daily user and with just 100MB the customers will not have many opportunities to experience 4G speeds. On the other hand it costs just 1 quid, so considering the price it is a good value-for-money deal.
There is more to choose from in terms of Talk and Text bundles as you have 3 different options to choose from. The cheapest one also costs just £1 and gives the customers 25 minutes, 50 texts and 10MB of data, which is valid for 7 days. Again such a small bundle would hardly satisfy any customer. The other two Talk and Text bundles come with unlimited texts, 10MB and 250 or 750 minutes. The smaller version costs £10 and the bigger £15. Both of them are valid for 30 days and are renewed after such period.
Finally, we have got the all-in-one Everything packs which may be the most useful bundles for everyday PAYG SIM card users. They come in 3 sizes: £10, £15 and £25. The smallest one offers 150 minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB of data. The medium one also has unlimited texts but also 500 minutes and 2GB of data. The biggest Everything pack is something that can truly satisfy most customers and let them experience 4G at its best. It comes with 1000 minutes, unlimited texts and 4GB of data. All of the Everything packs can be renewed after 30 days.
All in all, EE came up with quite nice all-in-one bundles for PAYG SIM cards plus some less useful data and talk and text package. However you judge that offer, it is a nice improvement to their last PAYG SIM card deals with 4G and as always increased competitiveness means better rates for consumers.
Vodafone PAYG SIM card users will be able to choose one of three add-ons to experience 4G speeds at reasonable prices.
One year after Vodafone launched its 4G network for contract customers it rolled out 4G for pay as you go. The operator’s 4G customer base has risen to over 1 million during the last year and the company wants to tap into the PAYG market to expand further.
Vodafone PAYG SIM card customers can choose one of three Freedom Freebees to experience 4G speeds. The price of these add-ons is £20, £30 and £40. The cheapest one comes with 2GB of data, 500 minutes and unlimited texts. The medium one gives you 4GB of data and unlimited airtime and text messages. The difference between the £30 bundle and the £40 one is that the latter provides 6GB of data. That’s not the only thing that 4G Freedom Freebees have to offer. Both the £30 and the £40 freebee offer Spotify Premium or Sky Sports Mobile TV for free. Customers should know about this so called entertainment package from Vodafone’s contract deals. Sadly Netflix has been excluded from the package for PAYG SIM card customers.
Moreover, Vodafone wants to let their customers try out 4G by giving each customer unlimited 4G data when they get a 4G Freedom Freebee for the first time. Thanks to this, people can assess how much data they use while surfing with ultra-high speeds.
Vodafone recommends three 4G handsets to pair with their PAYG SIM cards: HTC Desire 610, Nokia Lumia 635 and their branded phone Vodafone Smart 4 Turbo. HTC is the most powerful and obviously the most expensive of these as, on PAYG, it costs £140. Lumia is a comparable smartphone and costs £120; however Vodafone’s Smart 4 Turbo is the cheapest 4G entry-level phone and while it does not have the best specifications it costs just under £80.
Vodafone’s 4G mobile coverage is not the best around but still there are 304 towns and cities covered by the network. The coverage is expanding gradually and hopefully in near future it will encompass the whole country. This did not stop Vodafone from amassing a significant customer base and now they seem to have hopes to lure prepay customers too.
Vodafone tested 4G voice calls for their roughly 1-million big 4G customer base.
The newest mobile technology 4G has been the focus of attention for last few years, however, all the time people turned their attention to superfast data transmission. Apart from data, 4G can also offer a new quality of standard in terms of voice calls. Vodafone set out to test how this would work out. The trail was conducted in a historical place of Newbury, Berkshire, which is also famous for being the place where first ever mobile phone call was received almost 30 years ago.
In order to check their 4G network, Vodafone decided to use Voice over LTE technology to carry their calls. The operator reported that the test was completed successfully and their early assumptions are that 4G will not only ensure a more reliable and clearer voice calls but also reduce connection speed and power consumption. The first three advantages don’t seem to be alluring as we all can experience good quality of calls right now, but saving battery life is something desirable by all smartphone users. This suggested power savings are a result of not having to switch from 4G data to 3G voice calls. Additionally, 4G can make the use of radio resources more efficient, which in a nutshell means less power needed to achieve the same results. This hasn’t been fully investigated yet, so we don’t know if that power saving can have a significant impact on smartphone battery life.
Vodafone went forward with their trails despite the fact that their current 4G mobile coverage covers only around 40% population. While they are still looking into commercial application of Voice over LTE, their competition has already planned to roll it out. EE wants to offer 4G voice calls somewhere in 2015.