The UK's largest network operator has unveiled the UK's first mobile broadband '4G network'.
Orange and T-Mobile owner Everything Everywhere, which was renamed today as EE, will make the state-of-the-art technology available to some 20 million people in 16 cities across the UK.
The EE 4G network will launch by Christmas, and will being trials in London, Bristol, Cardiff and Bristol starting today. The company will also launch and new fibre home broadband service.
Unveiled at the Science Museum in London, the 4G network, which offers speeds up to five times faster than 3G, will cover 70% of the country by the end of 2013, and 98% by the end of 2014, the company said.
The network will launch alongside Orange and T-Mobile, pitched as the superfast, high-end alternative to T-Mobile's no-frills service and Orange's network aimed at users looking for extra benefits and deals.
The EE name will extend to its retail network, with more than 700 stores to sell EE, Orange and T-Mobile devices.
Together the three networks will service more than 27 million people in the UK.
"A new brand gives us permission toi do something we haven't done before," said EE CEO Olaf Swantee.
EE will initially be available on the Samsung Galaxy SIII LTE, Nokia Lumia 920, Nokia Lumia 820
HTC One XL, Huawei Ascend P1 LTE and a Huawei WiFi dongle and mobile WiFi hub.
EE added that it had "one more thing" up its sleeve - aping the famous Apple slogan, indicating the network will also be available on the next iPhone, to be announced tomorrow.
The announcement is likely to enrage EE's competitors, including Vodafone, 3 and O2, who have threatened legal action over telecoms regulator Ofcom's decision last month to allow EE to launch 4G on its existing network.
The 4G services will allow uninterrupted access to the web on the go, high definition movies to be downloaded in minutes and TV to be streamed without buffering.
Mark Newman, chief research officer at Informa Telecoms & Media said EE "will have to be careful about over-promising on 4G capabilities".
"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."
Olaf Swantee, CEO of EE added:
“Today we launch a new company, a new network and a new brand for Britain.
“Our plans to revolutionise the UK communications market with a faster network and an exciting new brand for the digital age are built on solid investment and a simple belief that customers deserve better.
“We look forward to connecting the country with superfast mobile speeds in the coming weeks, months and years.
“And it starts today, with the announcement of our new business, our new brand and a new digital infrastructure that our company, our customers and the country can be proud of.”
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