Given the recent news that will see EE launch 'early-4G 1800MHz' services 30th October, and other operators able to offer 4G services on post-auction frequencies from June/July next year, think carefully before signing up for a new 2 year contract!
The UK's post-4G-auction LTE frequencies are 800MHz and 2600MHz. If you are signing up for a new contract, and wish to take advantage of 4G when your operator starts rolling it out on these frequencies next summer, make sure the phone you choose supports 4G/LTE on these frequencies
If you go for EE's 4G service from 30th October, make sure that the '4G' phone you get from them does 800MHz and 2600MHz (as well as the 1800MHz frequency they are using initially). If you get a phone from EE that only does 1800MHz, you'll be left high and dry, unable to use the phone on any 800/2600MHz base stations that EE will start rolling out next summer.
The current UK version of the iPhone5 DOES NOT do 800/2600MHz 4G/LTE. In the UK, it will ONLY work on EE's 1800MHz 'interim-4G' service which may only ever cover 16 cities, or 1/3rd the UK population.
Likewise, many of the other 4G phones being offered by EE will not do 800/2600MHz. Apparently, the Nokia Lumnia 920 does... Its unlikely that the Samsung Galaxy S3/Note 2 will do the required freqs: 800, 1800 and 2600MHz.
If in doubt, switch to a cheapy monthly contract, and wait until the operators offer you some hardware that IS futureproofed for 4G. Cheapo month-to-month contracts can be had from 3 or virgin mobile for 7 quid a month.
'Three' also has 1800MHz spectrum on which it will roll out 4G services, but it cannot use this spectrum until September 2013 (license agreement with EE). If you go with three, you'll need 800,1800 and 2600MHz 4G on your device to be able to use 100% of threes the new 4G base stations.
I am needing a new phone/contract deal, but EE will only get my custom if the Galaxy Note-2 that they are going to offer does 800, 1800 and 2600LTE, otherwise its a waste of time/money.
I suspect the lack of UK 4G on your iPhone5 etc will effect its resale value 2 years down the line when 4G is covering 98% of the UK population.
Edited by veletron (Sat 06-Oct-12 13:51:53)