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Standard User Broadbean2
(newbie) Tue 22-Jan-13 23:47:20
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4G - EE offers lower tarrif & more data


[link to this post]
 
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-21143021

About time too!
Standard User David_W
(experienced) Wed 23-Jan-13 00:07:36
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Re: 4G - EE offers lower tarrif & more data


[re: Broadbean2] [link to this post]
 
It's no surprise. EE wanted the most return from those willing to pay a sizeable 4G premium until the end of the post-Christmas sales. All these customers will now have signed up - by December, other 4G providers will have launched. As such, it makes sense to adjust the tariff to tempt customers who would not pay this level of premium, but whose desire for early 4G is high enough to tempt them to leave other networks and move to EE during the remainder of EE's monopoly. Once the new 4G licences come into effect, EE's monopoly will end immediately - it's believed that Vodafone are busy rolling out a 4G network which is just waiting for a licence to turn it on.


Living outside one of the EE served cities, I see 4G as irrelevant to me at present. I didn't go to any heroics trying to track down a Galaxy Note II LTE when I bought a SIM free handset a few months ago as I'm on Vodafone and have no intention of leaving. The limited number of bands covered by early 4G handsets and the poor battery life in 4G mode meant it wasn't worth bothering with the (very difficult to source) LTE version - I couldn't find a way to get a version that will cover the 800MHz and 2.6GHz bands likely to be needed for Vodafone 4G.

By the time I'm looking to change my phone again all the networks will offer 4G, the price premium for 4G service will be minimal to non-existent as networks try to tempt customers off congested 3G networks, 4G speeds will be considerably higher than the best HSPA+ coverage, 4G chipsets will be mature so battery consumption will be much better, handsets will work on a decent selection of 4G bands, VoLTE will be available (no more falling back to 2G or 3G for voice calls) and 4G will be available on 800MHz, offering decent in-building penetration. I suspect I've bought my last ever 3G phone, but I won't be in a rush to buy my first 4G phone.

Standard User pcoventry76
(knowledge is power) Wed 23-Jan-13 01:03:30
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Re: 4G - EE offers lower tarrif & more data


[re: David_W] [link to this post]
 
I have a unlimited t-mobile sim and it's picking up 4G in my IPAD. I will use that until 3 start their 4G because like with 3G that's where it's going to be at - but this IS good news! and like you say about time!


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Standard User David_W
(experienced) Wed 23-Jan-13 01:58:52
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Re: 4G - EE offers lower tarrif & more data


[re: pcoventry76] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by pcoventry76:
I have a unlimited t-mobile sim and it's picking up 4G in my IPAD. I will use that until 3 start their 4G because like with 3G that's where it's going to be at

It's a false assumption that Three will offer the cheapest high use tariffs on 4G just because they did so on 3G. In the 3G marketplace, Three were the last to arrive and had to differentiate their offering somehow, especially with the '3G or bust' nature of their network - and the resulting iffy in-building coverage - in areas as they stopped their 2G roaming arrangements. In 4G, Three will either be the second to launch or will be launching with the rest, depending on what they do with the 1800MHz block they are buying from EE when they take control of it (EE are hanging on to it for as long as possible to preserve their 4G monopoly).


Unlimited use 4G is a particularly dangerous offering for the mobile networks. These days, it's trivial to configure a cheap smartphone to share its data connection over Wi-Fi, leaving terms and conditions restricting the use of unlimited data usage SIMs to mobile phones with no practical effect. If people have unlimited data in a 4G area, they may feel the connection is fast enough to get rid of their landline and associated fixed broadband. That leads to an impossible 'arms race' - it simply isn't economic or even possible within the limited amount of radio bandwidth available to provide enough wireless bandwidth to replace fixed broadband. Unlimited 4G data tariffs may also encourage further growth in data demand in non-4G areas, which the networks may be unable to service.

I suspect the way ahead will be tariffs that include high (by previous standards) but limited use. This will permit existing products with unlimited data to be precluded from the 4G network, which will help encourage migration away from these tariffs by the heaviest users. It was no accident that O2 abandoned unlimited data tariffs for phones as users upgraded - they couldn't keep up with demand. 4G offers the perfect carrot for the networks to tempt users off legacy tariffs they wish to withdraw.


A particular danger for the mobile networks of offering unlimited 4G data is that the ASA is taking an increasingly dim view of 'unlimited subject to fair use policy' - if you advertise something as unlimited, the customer increasingly expects it to be truly unlimited and may have a complaint for false advertising if there are undisclosed limits.


My mobile is on Vodafone Red SIM Only, which has truly unlimited voice for personal non-business use only. So long as your call pattern doesn't suggest intensive business use, there's nothing Vodafone can do to ask you to moderate your usage. The kind of abusive business usage Vodafone wish to prevent on a consumer tariff should be fairly obvious - anyone making 30+ short calls to strange numbers each day is clearly telemarketing, and anyone racking up 3000 or more minutes every month should expect questions unless the usage was predominantly long calls to a handful of numbers. Most people's personal usage will be repeated calls to a limited range of numbers with most of the rest being occasional short calls. Overall, I suspect the total additional call volume over the 1200 minute tariffs that Red replaced is rather modest, making the limited increase in costs worthwhile for the marketing benefit of being unlimited.

When I make voice calls, they tend to be fairly long - since switching to this mobile tariff, I use my mobile to make these calls so as not to risk the high costs of going over an hour on an 'unlimited, redial after 60 minutes' landline tariff.

Standard User pcoventry76
(knowledge is power) Wed 23-Jan-13 02:56:12
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Re: 4G - EE offers lower tarrif & more data


[re: David_W] [link to this post]
 
Three are aware of the ASA's thinking that's why they swapped to all you can eat.

Anyway we will see what happens., I am only after 4G for the very fast uploads for my work. I have fibre at home for everything else
Standard User mr_mojo
(knowledge is power) Wed 30-Jan-13 16:34:24
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Re: 4G - EE offers lower tarrif & more data


[re: David_W] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by David_W:
It's a false assumption that Three will offer the cheapest high use tariffs on 4G just because they did so on 3G. In the 3G marketplace, Three were the last to arrive and had to differentiate their offering somehow, especially with the '3G or bust' nature of their network - and the resulting iffy in-building coverage - in areas as they stopped their 2G roaming arrangements.

Waaah? Three were the first 3G operator.
Standard User David_W
(experienced) Wed 30-Jan-13 16:57:30
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Re: 4G - EE offers lower tarrif & more data


[re: mr_mojo] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by mr_mojo:
In reply to a post by David_W:
It's a false assumption that Three will offer the cheapest high use tariffs on 4G just because they did so on 3G. In the 3G marketplace, Three were the last to arrive and had to differentiate their offering somehow, especially with the '3G or bust' nature of their network - and the resulting iffy in-building coverage - in areas as they stopped their 2G roaming arrangements.
Waaah? Three were the first 3G operator.
My point was that Three has to establish themselves in a market where there were four mobile companies already operating.

Standard User pcoventry76
(knowledge is power) Sat 02-Feb-13 12:23:52
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Re: 4G - EE offers lower tarrif & more data


[re: David_W] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by David_W:
In reply to a post by mr_mojo:
In reply to a post by David_W:
It's a false assumption that Three will offer the cheapest high use tariffs on 4G just because they did so on 3G. In the 3G marketplace, Three were the last to arrive and had to differentiate their offering somehow, especially with the '3G or bust' nature of their network - and the resulting iffy in-building coverage - in areas as they stopped their 2G roaming arrangements.
Waaah? Three were the first 3G operator.
My point was that Three has to establish themselves in a market where there were four mobile companies already operating.


Which considering they wipe the floor with other providers in terms of deals (and always have) I think they did that many years ago.
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