This week, Manchester became one of the first lucky cities in the UK to receive the new superfast 4G mobile network service. 4G promises significantly faster Internet speeds for mobile users, with claims that will rival most home broadband connections, offering between 8 to 12 Megabits per second (Mbps). As ever more people using Internet on the go, this will be particularly noticeable for users who make use of video and audio streaming or large downloads.
EE, owners of T-Mobile and Orange currently offer a few different packages for their 4G service, depending on the level of usage. 500MB of data costs £36 a month, with 1Gb at £41, 5GB at £51 and 8GB at £56.
This move comes six months earlier than expected, with the official nationwide rollout is scheduled for May 2013, when it is expected that Vodaphone and O2 will also begin offering this service to their customers.
Manchester and London are among the first to go live with this new technology with other cities including Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield and Southampton expected to also go live sometime before Christmas 2012. EE chief executive Olaf Swantee has said this launch will make Britain a 'more modern country'.
With slow connection speeds being blamed for presenting barriers to users shopping online, a recent study by eBay claims that not having universal 4G in place by Christmas 2012 could cost the UK economy as much as £120m in lost sales. The study showed that 55% of UK users intend on using their mobiles to browse the web this Christmas, with 39% saying they will use their mobile device for gift ideas and checking prices.
We are seeing an increase in the usage of mobile Internet and welcome these improvements to Brtains mobile internet infrastructure.
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