EE is the UK's first 4G network, launching within weeks

A brand new network -- dubbed 'EE' -- will serve up the nation's first taste of 4G data, in 16 UK cities by the end of the year.

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A brand new network -- dubbed 'EE' -- will serve up the nation's first taste of 4G data. It's run by Everything Everywhere, the hard-to-get-your-mouth-around joint venture between Orange and T-Mobile.

EE will "stand alongside" Orange and T-Mobile, with the new EE company being the only one of the three to offer 4G. EE says 16 UK cities, including Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London, will be 4G-equipped by Christmas.

If you're an Orange or T-Mobile customer, that means you won't automatically be able to get 4G, unfortunately. If you want to upgrade to the EE service, the double-caps firm promises it will make that easy.

EE's 4G service will be launching in a few weeks time, promising the speedy new network tech, as well as fibre Internet in your home. We should know more about prices and speeds shortly -- fingers crossed the fact that you can't currently get 4G anywhere else doesn't make it too expensive.

  • Here's the full list of cities where 4G will be available: Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Derby, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Nottingham, Newcastle, Sheffield and Southampton.

O2 and Vodafone will be fuming today , as Ofcom has allowed Everything Everywhere to kick off its 4G service ahead of the big spectrum auction next year, at which point those other networks will get a chance to start their own services.

Boris Johnson, the mayor of Cartoontown London, was present at the launch, holding a smart phone and promising that "information will now spout in unbelievable, unstoppable quantities from these gizmos".

There aren't many phones out there that will work with 4G in the UK, but Nokia's new Lumia 920 is one of them . The iPhone 5 -- due to be revealed tomorrow -- could be another.

EE says new 4G phones will be coming soon, from the likes of Samsung and HTC. A 4G version of the Samsung Galaxy S3 is one of the phones in EE's 4G launch lineup.

Are you excited about 4G? Are you worried it will be too expensive? Have your say in the comments below or on our Facebook wall.

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About the author

Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.

 

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