back to article EE screams UK iPhone 4G exclusive, rest of pack sobs quietly

Only EE (formerly called Everything Everywhere) will be able to offer islands of 4G connectivity to the 4G-capable iPhone 5 when it arrives in the UK. The Apple smartphone will be available from every network operator, but two - O2 and Vodafone - will never be able to give the phone the fastest possible mobile broadband. …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Another reason

    Not to buy one, IMO. A small (albeit very pricey) upgrade for not much more in the way of functionality.

    1. dogged

      Re: Another reason

      But those who buy iPhones will buy it anyway.

      And salesmorons won't exactly be going out of their way to explain this little deficiency to the average punter.

      iBuyer - "I heard it has the Four Gees?"

      O2 Rep - "Totally. It has four gees. And a totally unique screen that frames your videos with these awesome black sides."

      iBuyer - *orgasm*

      1. GrahamS

        Re: Another reason

        Ahem, from the article:

        "None of this is Apple's fault: rival phone makers face the same problem and are coming up with similar answers."

  2. ColonelClaw

    Sorry for the dumb question...

    If I'm on Orange right now and I get an iPhone 5 upgrade will that automatically make me on Everything Everywhere (fuck me what a terrible name)?

    1. Lee Dowling Silver badge

      Re: Sorry for the dumb question...

      You already ARE on Everything Everywhere. They own Orange and T-Mobile.

      1. Matthew 25

        Re: Sorry for the dumb question...

        Everything in 16 cities

    2. PassiveSmoking

      Re: Sorry for the dumb question...

      Everything Everywhore?

    3. chr0m4t1c

      Re: Sorry for the dumb question...

      And in case you missed the announcement on the 11th, they've completed the merge of the physical T-Mobile + Orange networks and are going to change the network ID to EE, so customers from both networks will be on EE before the end of the year.

      In other words, even if you do nothing you'll be on Everything Everywhere.

    4. Test Man
      Thumb Down

      Re: Sorry for the dumb question...

      "If I'm on Orange right now and I get an iPhone 5 upgrade will that automatically make me on Everything Everywhere (fuck me what a terrible name)?"

      If you want LTE on a LTE-supported phone, you have to get an EE contract whoever you're on. It might be easier if you're already on Orange or T-Mobile.

      No matter what network is displayed on your phone and no matter the fact that Everything Everywhere own Orange or T-Mobile, you stay on Orange or T-Mobile till you decide to join another network, in the same way GiffGaff is separate from O2, even though O2 (technically Telefonica) own it.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "EE screams UK iPhone 4G exclusive"

    General populous shouts "who cares".

    1. Ted Treen


      iPhone users on T Mobile and Orange care. So do those who use iPhones but aren't bothered about changing network.

      If, in your great geeky superiority, you don't care, then just don't get one.

      Don't assume you speak for the UK population as a whole, don't assume that everyone who thinks differently to you is beneath you, and above all else, don't assume that anyone is impressed by, or even gives a damn about, your own little opinion.

      1. cocknee
        Big Brother

        Re: Errr...

        but Ted, he got 6 likes (at the moment). More than your puritanical fanboi diatribe. Don't forget there are other 4G phones too.

        In fact, no-one cares about your jaundiced opinion either - AC was at least sarcasm, which before you get all Dail Heil on us, is funny and is not the lowest form of wit!

        1. Ted Treen

          Re: Errr... @cocknee

          6 upvotes? Maybe that says more about the standards of the Reg's readers.

          "Puritanical fanboi diatribe"? Geez - what a putdown - could it be a "puritanical anti-Apple diatribe"?

          Using (or liking) any Apple kit does not automatically put you in the realms of "fanboi".

          I do not know what you use, or why you prefer it. And frankly my dear, I don't give a damn.

          Neither do I gather all Android users & fans, and all Windows users and fans into one group and patronisingly put them down because their choice differs from mine. Maybe you'll learn there's more to the big wide world than that - possibly after you've taken your GCSEs.

          Beer? - well it's nice - when you're old enough to go into pubs, of course.

      2. RubberJohnny

        Re: Errr...

        OK, LTE in 16 cities. So, in those 16 cities, EE people can do large downloads, like movies etc very quickly whilst on the move, they don't have to wait to get to their home or office broadband. And they can use good Facetime connections, and upload photos in 2 seconds instead of 10.

        Everything else - web, email, Farcebook, Twatter is all instant on HSDPA anyway. All the stuff that I might do on my phone.

        I can see LTE being good for mobile working (i.e. Notebooks using dongles). But I don't really need it on my phone. I don't see the big deal.

    2. TeeCee Gold badge

      I believe that you are crediting the general populous with levels of intelligence that they do not posess.

      Despite what you and I may think, I reckon; "Ooooo, faster shiny yesyesyesyesyesyes <collectively wets knickers>" and a mass pitching of tents outside apple and EE stores might be a more accurate summation of the likely response from that quarter.

      1. Ted Treen


        "I believe that you are crediting the general populous (sic) with levels of intelligence that they do not posess."

        And you, of course, possess (note spelling!) a level of intelligence far higher than anyone who could ever want/use an Apple device.

        Geez, it must be incredible to be so superior.

    3. Ted Treen

      @AC 10:17 & TeeCee

      Populous:- adjective, "having a large or densely gathered population".

      Populace:- noun, "The people living in a particular area"

  4. Andy 17

    So hang on...

    Does this mean that international roaming is never going to work on 4g devices without it reverting to 3g?

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: So hang on...

      Given the cost per MB when abroad, that is probably for the best.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So hang on...

      "Does this mean that international roaming is never going to work on 4g devices without it reverting to 3g?"

      Depends on the handset and the frequencies it supports! You can have a 4G handset now. It'll be working on 3G tho/

      What a mess.

      Tho why would you want to?

      1. Test Man

        Re: So hang on...

        It's really the same as now - in some countries in some areas, you only get 2G or basic 3G (not even HSDPA).

        So getting a 4G/LTE phone isn't going to guarantee you 4G outside the country and network you got it from.

  5. Dave 126 Silver badge

    Option when roaming...

    If you really need data without a WiFi hotspot, there is a company that lease 3G>WiFi dongles with the correct SIM cards and data plans already set up on your behalf: You contact them before you travel, telling them which countries you are visiting- they then send the correct kit out to you. I would imagine that they will have 4G>WiFi dongles and SIMs available as and when they are available.

    1. Steve Renouf

      Re: Option when roaming...

      At a suitable premium, of course. I'm glad I only use a phone as.... erm... a PHONE!

      What a mess it's all turning into. That's what happens when you leave things for the companies to sort out instead of regulating! No more international standards. What a £$%% mess! Oh, I already said that!

  6. Stu J

    Dear EE

    Please sort out my 2G coverage before dicking about with 4G.

    Much love

    PS - No, I don't live in the sticks.

    1. HMB

      Re: Dear EE

      Your 2G is going to go offline, and if you can't figure out why and why that matters, I'm not going to bother telling you.

      Frankly it would be pointless.

    2. Test Man

      Re: Dear EE

      Nobody cares about 2G - that's oooooold tech.

      1. HMB

        Re: Dear EE

        Clearly at least 7 people can't work it out :P

        I'll give you a tiny hint (I did say I wouldn't tell you).

        The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few (or the one).

        I don't mind old tech at all. There's no sense in getting rid of something that works well just for the sake of it. That is not the case with 2G though.

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. PassiveSmoking

    This looks like a job for Software Defined Radio!

    Not that I'm planning to buy a new iPhone until they're available contract-free. I never buy phones on contract anymore, it's a game for suckers. Rolling contract and BYOP for the win!

    1. Anonymous Coward

      The phone *is* available contract-free...

      ... It'll just cost you upwards of £500 in cash/card/cheque from Apple directly.

      Unfortunately, not even the US phones are available in CDMA unlocked, which is kinda upsetting, because I'd very much prefer an unlocked CDMA/GSM phone that I can plug in in the US and not have a problem.

    2. HMB


      And when you can solve the problems of a software defined Ariel you'll have a winner there too!

      1. TeeCee Gold badge

        Re: SDR

        "...a software defined Ariel..."

        I suppose this would have to be done with SOAP........

  9. Timmay

    Why several models?

    I understand there might be fundamental differences between a CDMA (ugh) and a GSM phone, but why have different models for different subtle frequencies - how difficult is it to have a single phone which supports the US GSM LTE frequencies and the rest of the world's?

    The only difference I can see between the A1428 and the GSM A1429 is the A1428 supports LTE bands 4 and 17, and the GSM A1429 supports LTE bands 1, 3 and 5. What is the reason for not having a single which supports LTE bands 1, 3, 4, 5, and 17, or indeed all the bands?

    1. Philippe

      Re: Why several models?

      I think Antenna design has something to do with it.

      Yes we could have a chip which goes from 700 Mhz to 2600 Mhz but the antenna and therefore reception would not be optimum on some of the bands.

      The solution is for the main countries to come together and agree once and for all on a more limited range.

      The reason we have so much crap between 700 and 850 is Digital TV.

      They should just move it out of the way. People don't use TV anymore and those who do would just need a retune which happens already every two months.

      800, 1800, 2100 and 2600 should be used for LTE everywhere and that's it.

      The others can jump.

      1. NogginTheNog

        Re: "People don't use TV anymore"

        Wow, what a narrow and patronising view of the world you have. ANd I suppose those 10 million who watch the X Factor or Strictly each weekend are just made up numbers?

        Just because people don't JUST watch live TV on TV sets anymore is no reason to just assume NO-ONE does.

        1. Test Man

          Re: "People don't use TV anymore"

          NogginTheNog - don't worry about Phillipe. He's clearly completely clueless. 63-68 (800Mhz - 850MHz approx) is already clear. He hasn't a clue how terrestrial TV works - with each transmitter broadcasting on certain UHF channels, adjacent transmitters have to transmit on different frequencies so they don't clash, so it's not easy to clear it. Hence, TV frequencies from UHF channel 21 to 63 (formerly 21-68) depending on the area of the country.

      2. Timmay

        Re: Why several models?

        @Philippe and John 172

        Aerials, antennas, sure, I did consider that, but the range of frequencies the models already support with the aerials they're fitted with (ie. GSM 850, 900, 1800, 1900, 2100), the LTE bands in question are within these ranges anyway.

        For example, going into more detail, why can the A1428 antennas support LTE bands 4 and 17 on 1.7-2.1 GHz and 704-746 MHz respectively, but not the LTE bands 1, 3 and 5 on 1.9-2.1 GHz, 1.7-1.9 GHz, and 824-894 MHz respectively, which the A1429 can? They're all in the same ranges, what's the problem?

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Re: Why several models?

          It's possible to have multiple band coverage on one antenna, but each time you add one you need to find a way of making the structure resonant over the extra frequency range and maintain its radiation pattern and polarisation.

          This is easier to do when the bands are fairly far apart, the closer they get the more difficult it is to avoid coupling and hence loss of isolation and hence changes in the antenna characteristics on previously working bands. Increasing the bandwidth of a given band is also difficult, the antenna is fairly high-Q and hence couples to its environment and so radiates well. As soon as you reduce the Q and the coupling then the efficiency and gain falls.

          If you want all those bands you end up with a physically large structure where each resonant part is decoupled from all the others, there is rarely room to do this in a phone-sized object.

          There are other tricks to be played, but they really are not easy or cheap. On the fly tuning is possible but it's a fairly new technology and the antenna feed impedances have to be with a certain range at all frequencies you need to use and that still doesn't absolve you from having to ensure that the radiation pattern, gain and efficiency are adequate.

          Bottom line: antenna design is hard,

    2. John 172

      Re: Why several models?

      Different frequency == different aerial.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why several models?

      The length of an aerial influences what it can pick up. Hence long wave, medium wave radio etc.

  10. Stratman

    That's what I love about standards.......

    ........ so many to choose from.

  11. Naughtyhorse

    HUGE NEWS!!!!

    Apple to release phone with 4g!!!!

    ...... hang on a minute... my mistake, as you were.

    1. HMB

      Re: HUGE NEWS!!!!

      It pains me to jump to the defence of an Apple product, but not only IS the phone GOING to work in the UK on EE with LTE, but like the article said (if you read all of it), other phones and manufacturers are having exactly the same problem which has been brought about by the messy way LTE bands have been defined.

      Of course we could just turn this into an Apple Bash.

      Yeah, stupid Apple, trying to make 4G LTE devices, duh!! That's sooooo stupid.


      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: HUGE NEWS!!!!

        Hmm, I think that you'll find that iP5 is about the only LTE1800 handset that does not also support LTE800 and LTE2600, that means that that Samsung, HTC, Huawei (&.&...) users can roam on LTE to Sweden, Germany etc.

        Of course iP5 users will be able to use LTE2100 in........ohh that'll be just Switzerland then (eventually).

        So no, other manufacturers are not having this issue, just like other manufacturers did not have the 'grip of death' issue, not matter how much SJ might have tried to convince everyone. The convention is to support LTE800/1800/2600, Apple are the first notable name to break from this trend.

  12. Tony Gosling

    4G or Visual Voicemail?

    Would almost be enough to move to EE if they supported invaluable iPhone feature Visual Voicemail - but they don't. Still stuck with archaic 80's style voicemail. Till they get that sorted a bit faster downloads when you can get signal isn't enough to switch to them and I will have to stick to O2.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 4G or Visual Voicemail?

      If your network had better coverage perhaps people would not get 'voicemail' so often. When I was on O2 and had visual voicemail it was nice but now I'm on Voda I actually get the calls straight away without the hassle and using my minutes to return calls.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe the other operators should push ahead with HSPA+ as they already have the frequencies, it's widely supported and would help new iPhone users AND everyone else. I doubt too many people would be complaining if they were getting the best part of 20mbps?

    1. Scroticus Canis

      Works here nicely.

      Agree with you on this one. Here in South Africa CellC's network uses HSPA+ at 900Mhz; much better range, penetration and speeds than Vodacrap and MTN. I do only get 3.5 Mbps where I currently live but have had it going at 12 Mbps in more civilized parts (Western Cape). Getting ADSL here is expensive and it's slow; 1 Mbps is a luxury on the copper network. By the way isn't 'mbps' milli bits per second while big 'M' mega according to SI prefixes?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe EE should be forced to give up it's 1800mhz band for 4G and the networks share 4G networks - wow what a thought - rather that duplicating everything. Would probably reduce the cost to us punters as well as a quicker roll out.

    1. Test Man


      Vodafone grabbed the valuable frequencies and left Orange and T-Mobile to look for scraps. Now they have joined together and pooled their 1800MHz and can easily clear some of it for LTE. Not their fault Vodafone was greedy back in the day. Do you think Vodafone needed to give up THEIR frequencies that they greedily took? No, and neither should EE.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Surely with 4G operators are going have to significantly 'up' their bandwidth allowances as people do more with their phones... but that probably means more cost to us.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Most of the areas that will get 4G from EE probably already have generally good 3.5/3.75/4G in the form of HSUPA / HSPA+ so although LTE sounds sexy to techies the average punter it may not make much difference in real life.

  17. MrXavia

    Who needs 4G? I find three's network fast enough, but I would love better coverage... All I see happening is 4G being in the big cities and the rural areas STILL have bad coverage.....

    Expand the 4G to the no G areas first please!

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not getting one

    I change my phone, on average, every two years. My last was a Nexus One and my current is an iPhone 4S. I gave up on my Nexus when Google ended OS upgrades to the device and it began to randomly freeze while carried in my pocket. I ended up using a feature phone for a while before getting an iPhone. The iDevice recently became something of a family need so my choice was somewhat limited. 'nuff said. FWIW, my data usage is low as well, with only 19MB used over the last week on my phone. I must admit that there are times when I wonder why I have a smartphone.

    The only device I will definitely upgrade will be my two year old 4th gen iPod Touch. It has a tendency to slow down significantly when the audio is running. I'm hoping that the new revision, with the faster A5 CPU, will fix that problem. I may also get an Android eReader as well, a Kobo Arc with ICS. The Kindle Fire & Nooks are not available here.

  19. Camilla Smythe

    Mr Peanut Man Says Yes!


    Ring Ring


    'Can I speak to other person?'

    'Not here at the moment. Can I take a message?'

    'When will other person be back?'

    'Don't know. Can I take a message?'

    'Perhaps other person will be back soon. What time would that be?'

    'Don't know. Can I take a message and get them to call you back?'

    'Do they have their Mobile on them?

    'Don't know. Try ringing it....'

    'Do you have their Mobile Number?'

    'Just a moment.'

    'Arghh Arghh I am bathed in strange radiation. It is burning me! My body is dissolving!'

    'Welcome to Geolocation, your Phone's GPS and Orbital Laser Weapons.'

    'You could have told me to Fuck Off. Please turn it off. My Penis is disappearing.'

    'Sorry about that. I'm too polite. Computer says, click, ETH08 unplugged. Laser Satellite Connection Down.'

    'My eyes! My Eyes!'

    'Can I take a message?'



  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Erm does this mean that Vodafone or O2 will not bother bidding for the spectrum and just buy 3?

  21. Mr Stuffy

    Sheep Tax

    Let's see......

    Restricted competition for new 4g Network.......

    Shiney new FanBoi fodder.......

    New connector......


    1. Tony Paulazzo

      Re: Sheep Tax

      Connector adaptors dollar to pound sign switcheroo

      Apple headphones with holes 20 years in the making

      Kerching kerching

  22. James Body 1

    1800 MHz Spectrum for 2G and 4G use

    "The version of the iPhone 5 on UK shelves will support LTE at 1800MHz, ideal for EE which owns the whole band and for Three which is in the process of acquiring a chunk"

    EE do not quite own the whole 1800 MHz band......

    The actual allocation of spectrum in the DCS 1800 band is currently as follows:

    - 5.8 MHz (x 2) - Vodafone

    - 5.8 MHz (x2) - Telefonica O2

    - 30 MHz (x2) - T-Mobile (now EE)

    - 30 MHz (x2) - Orange (now EE)

    - 3.3 MHz (x2) - Ex DECT Guard band spectrum licenced to 10 assorted operators for low power GSM use.

    So - EE currently hold some 60 MHz of paired spectrum, of which they have agreed to sell 15 MHz to 3UK.

    The remaining 45 MHz will have to support both the existing 2G traffic load of Orange and T-Mobile (together with other MVNO and assorted roaming traffic - including 3UK and Virgin Mobile) - plus the new LTE traffic component. I think that this lump of spectrum is going to be extremely busy in the near future - particularly in town!

  23. Graham 25

    Anyone got a decent table which clarifies this ?

    Seems ideal for a diagram with frequencies on one axis, and operators on another with phone capability mapped out on the area. I'm just confused ....

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