For some lucky UK mobile users, 4G coverage will already have been made available where they live and work, although at the moment there are still plenty of places where the 4G rollout has yet to land.
Things should have improved significantly by the end of the year, at which point other network providers will have launched 4G services and EE will not be the only firm offering this type of high speed mobile connectivity. To give you an idea of how things stand today and what they will look like in the future, here is an overview of 4G mobile broadband coverage in the UK.
Where is 4G available?
You can find out about the availability of 4G in your area by typing your post code into the 4G coverage map provided by OpenSignal. Search for your area and uncover whether or not the 4G signal is already booming to your phone. EE’s site and indeed the individual sites of rival network providers, will also give you up to the minute info on the roll-out’s progress so that you can answer the question of where is 4G available.
This month EE enabled 4G in an additional 27 towns across the UK, bringing the current total with coverage to 65. This includes London, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Newcastle, Sheffield, Wolverhampton and many more areas. Finding out whether your community is covered will take just a couple of seconds.
When will I get 4G?
EE has committed to establishing 4G networks to cover 98 per cent of the UK’s population by the end of 2014, with the roll-out really picking up pace over the next few months so that millions of customers can start to reap the benefits in 2013.
When it comes to its rivals, their plans and schedules are a little less clear, if only because they have remained relatively cagey about when 4G will be available to users. Both O2 and Vodafone are expected to start their 4G rollout by late summer to coincide with the launch of the next iPhone 5S.
The UK’s fourth major provider with its own infrastructure to manage is Three and it had initially planned to bring 4G rollout to the table towards the end of the year. However, given that both Vodafone and O2 have now committed loosely to an earlier launch, some insiders believe that Three may be forced to speed up its own roll-out to keep pace.
With so many things up in the air at the moment, it is difficult to make any firm predictions about the confirmed 4G rollout in the UK. However, EE’s deadline for near blanket coverage of late 2014 should also be seen as the point by which its rivals will have caught up and British smartphone users can expect to pick and choose from 4G packages on a level playing field.