While the UK might be far behind the rest of the world when it comes to broadband speeds and mobile data access, it's finally beginning to catch up in one of those areas, with the official launch of the first 4G services in the country today.
10 cities, including: London, Bristol, Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds, Sheffield, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool and Manchester all now have access to the high speed data service. You'll need to be in one of those locales to make use of it, as well as have a compatible handset and be on the Everything Everywhere (EE) network – which has recently been criticised for raising prices on its data tariffs. It also doesn't offer an unlimited package and has added high charges for those that exceed their allowance.
A further six cities, including: Belfast, Derby, Hull, Newcastle, Nottingham and Southampton will also have access to the network by the end of the year – according to The Telegraph. Until Spring 2013 EE will be the only provider operating 4G services, due to the delays in the spectrum auctions. However once the other providers come into play, the coverage of the 4G network is expected to extend to most of the UK – those in extremely rural areas will most likely gain 3G access as part of the move, since cities will no longer require coverage of that older service.
4G offers much faster data transfers than traditional 3G: around 40Mbps for downloads and upto 13Mbps for uploads. In comparison, 3G is closer to 4Mbps for downloads and 2.5Mpbs for uploads.
KitGuru Says: Any of you guys rushing out to get a 4G capable handset and new EE contract to take advantage of today's launch?