I note the Beeb is reporting today that people are saying the cost of signing up to an EE 4G plan is too high.
There are always going to be whingers. Either people will like the pricing or they won’t. It’s a straight business decision on the part of EE. Network operators are under constant margin pressure because they have chopped their pricing too much in the past. 4G represents an opportunity to build value into their businesses.
My biggest concern is how successful they will be in adding additional margin generating services to their portfolios. If you look at the EE pricing then everyone gets unlimited voice and texts and they are just offering variable charging based on data consumption. On its own this isn’t enough but I’m not sure I see networks successfully adding other services that people are willing to pay for.
7 replies on “4G cost an issue?”
With GiffGaff offering a 250mins & unlimited data/text plan for just £12 a month I think it will need content providers to push their wares faster than 3G can cope before the masses switch to 4G – and by then there’ll be some competition to EE…
I’m no CFO, but I would have thought they’d (EE) be wanting to capture as many people into long term contracts before the likes of O2 & Vodafone got a chance to offer a competing service… I think they’ve either priced themselves out of a fast paced take up, or there’s a 4G ‘cartel’ and they all have – we’ll see soon enough I guess!
I don’t think the cost is “too high”, as there will always be some element of higher pricing if you’re willing to be an early adopter.
However, what isn’t encouraging is the (apparent) lack of PAYG data options from EE. EE seems to be requiring 18 month contracts at this stage, so it looks like EE are trying to capture the early adopters before the competitors can get their own 4G services up and running.
I’m also keen to see if Voda and O2 will be able to refarm their 900MHz spectrum for LTE, which will help things such as extra-urban coverage and building penetration.
I have a feeling that the 900MHz spectrum wont be usable until the end of 2013 due to the need to sort out TV filtering first.
Not being from the UK myself but having family and friends there I had to go Google EE.
“Everything, Everywhere and which owns Orange and T-Mobile in the UK,”
Here in the United States 24 month contracts are pretty much standard practice. I’m guessing it’s different in the UK? I would personally jump at a plan offering 250mins & unlimited data/text plan for just £12 (~ $16 US).
Personally I would rather have decent 3G coverage for more areas that a 4G signal. I only ever need data connectivity from my phone to check emails, facebook and a few web pages. Do lots of people really download a lot of music and videos on their phones to actually need LTE speeds?.
just my 2p 🙂
That is a valid point Chris. At the moment I use WiFi to do any seriously heave downloading/uploading. That is mainly down to cost but also I suspect WiFi is less onerous on the phone’s battery.
The problem with 4G is LTE… 4G was originally designed for the 5.0 Ghz range. The initial role out (due in 2005) was for a 20 meg download and 20 meg upload bandwidth… by the time I left the project we were talking with speeds upto 1gig.
The problem from the outset was never 4G or the fact that countries couldn’t agree on the frequency ranges, but the day we sat down for an around table discussion with all the main software and hardware manufacturers – explaining to them that at a time when the Nokia 3380 was the latest thing and that while there was a total lull in the hardware/computer tech market – we needed a hand held device with PC levels of power that would be able to accept a 4G signal without melting the head of the user.
The rest is history, it’s in your pocket and called a smart phone. An evolution that even today almost 10 years later hasn’t yet evolved to a point to handle the data throughput or true 4G.
The UK is quite a way behind in the 4G market and it was always going to be, purely because of the 3G auction. So 4G was targeted at countries who wouldn’t start charging huge licence fees and were thirsty for evolution. As such the first country was going to be Bahrain… but arguments abounded and Vodafone wanted in, in a big way. As such the first end to end 4G service went live in Jordan using Wimax Wave Two. The US were hot on the heels of this and they’ve been running 4G LTE for over 2 years…
Some argue that 4G is more data than voice… actually – it really makes no difference, the difference is that it starts in packets rather than slowly crawling to a transmitter to then get turned into packets.
HOWEVER…. the Telco’s have been purposefully dragging their respective heels on this. If you think about their observations globally of 4G becoming live everywhere, then they should have had the investment and work completed and ready to go.
In the past 12 months UK data usage has sky rocketed, people are buying less TV’s because they get all their content online – and nothing prepared the ISPs for the massive HD throughput of the Olympics – massive…
So, the Telco’s really have to up their game right now and they know it – the thing is, they’ll drag their feet until the last very second – or until someone accuses them of it in the media. After all, the field equipent/service platform is already there – just a question of upgrading to the appropriate AP solution
Either way, 4G is an evolution, it’s here and not going away. It’s designed to be over a hundred times faster than what is already on offer – but until we get the end user gear right, the frequency right we will just have to marvel oat the joys other countries have already got and we just have to wait for…
But remember, the Smart Phone wasn’t a concept thought up by Steve Jobs – it came from an industry wide requirement for 4G, nearly 10 years ago – and we ain’t got it right yet 😉