iPhone 5 switches to 4G early for free on Orange, T-Mobile

Orange and T-Mobile customers can switch to the 4G iPhone 5 without extra costs, even if you're in the middle of a contract.

Orange and T-Mobile customers can switch to the 4G iPhone 5 without paying any extra money, even if you're in the middle of your contract.

The new iPhone 5 will work with EE's 4G network, launching in the "coming weeks". EE is the stupid new name for Everything Everywhere, which was the stupid new name for Orange and T-Mobile after the two networks merged. Orange and T-Mobile will still exist, but if you want faster 4G data speeds on your phone you'll have to switch to EE.

EE's 4G network, called 4GEE, doesn't launch for a couple of weeks, but you don't have to wait until then to start enjoying your iPhone 5. Simply buy it on an Orange or T-Mobile contract and when 4G does launch, you'll be able to swap straight over.

Leaving your contract early from any network usually entails paying off the remaining months, making it an expensive proposition. But if you're on Orange or T-Mobile you'll be able to go straight to 4G without paying off your existing contract, simply starting a new contract with EE. The new EE contract must be an equivalent price per month and length -- so even if you're halfway through a two-year contract, you have to start a new two-year contract.

To make the switch, EE says, "The process will be simple, and all that is required is a new SIM card and EE plan."

Not all networks are so generous, however. O2 has already said that it will charge you the remainder of the cost of your contract if you decide to switch to 4G before your contract is up, albeit with a small discount. I've no idea why O2 has piped up with that particular piece of unfriendliness, seeing as it doesn't even have a 4G service, and probably won't have for a year.

The next generation 4GEE network uses LTE technology to bring faster data speeds to phones including the iPhone 5 and LTE versions of the Samsung Galaxy S3 and HTC One X. The iPhone 5 goes on sale on 19 September, but EE has yet to confirm prices for the 4GEE network.

Will you be taking advantage of Orange, T-Mobile and EE's generosity? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.

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