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EE launches 20GB 4G offer for “super users”

22 Jan 2013
Smartphone dispalying EE 4G logo

EE has announced the launch of a 20GB 4G data plan to accommodate the need of its so-called "super users" who have found its 8GB plan insufficient.

The service will be offered as a sim-only plan from Tuesday costing £46 per month for a 12-month period. If purchased as part of a contract it will cost £61 per month on a 24-month contract.

It is a clear move to outflank its rivals ahead of the wider 4G auctions, though the firm is only offering the 20GB services for these prices until the end of February. At that point they will increase to £61 and £76 respectively.

Other sim-only options now available include 8GB for £41 per month on a 12-month contract.

The other major move sees EE reduce the price of its basic 500MB deal from £36 per month to £31, available for a two month period between January 31 and March 31.

EE is also offering a deal to let new users buy either the HTC One SV LTE or Nokia Lumia 820 on its £31 contract over 24-month months for 500MB of data for £30, a saving of £90, the firm claimed.

The firm is currently the only operator able to offer 4G services in the UK. It came in for some criticism when it first announced its pricing for failing to offer any sim-only deals and offering its cheapest deal at just £31 for just 500MB of data.

Matthew Howett, telecoms regulation analyst at Ovum, said that the move was a "pre-emptive strike" aimed at winning over more users before the auctions, but that its rivals may be happy with its change of pricing structures.

"It's fair to say that EE has attracted a fair degree of criticism, not so much for the price of the 4G tariffs but rather on the amount of data bundled at each level. EE was always going to have a difficult role to play being the first mover," he said.

"However, its peers may be grateful for attempting to move away from an all-you-can-eat world for data to an attempt to monetise it. Offering a more generous, but capped, data allowance for ‘super users' is still consistent with that pragmatic move."

The auctions for the rest of the 4G spectrum bands are set to begin in January with BT joining O2 and Vodafone in the bidding which could raise £3.5bn for the government.

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Dan Worth

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

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