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EE 4G signs up 318,000 people, defends data prices

EE's latest results show profits up and people spending more on data than ever

EE has signed up 318,000 paying punters to its 4G service in its first five months -- and says its pricey data has been "validated".

EE's data plans don't include an unlimited option, despite the network's rapid download speeds -- but the network insists they've been a success. 'Non-voice revenues' are up to 51 per cent of the average revenue per user, so more than half of the money EE customers are paying the network is for things such as data and messaging.

The company also boasts that 4G is changing the way people use their phones, with 37 per cent saying they use less or no public Wi-Fi since getting 4G. 42 per cent say they are downloading more apps on the go, while 20 per cent say they're using their home broadband less. But that means more than half of all customers have not changed their mobile downloading habits at all -- perhaps because they're worried about going over their limit.

Nevertheless, only 1.2 per cent of its customers left EE in the quarter, a rate it's kept up for two years. It attracted 166,000 new contract customers, and says its 4G service will cover 55 per cent of the UK population by the end of June, and 70 per cent by the end of the year. That said, of its 26.4 million total customers, only 1 per cent are currently using its 4G service.

Revenue was also up, by 5.4 per cent to £1.4bn, for EE and its subsidiaries T-Mobile and Orange. It puts that down to more people moving from pay as you go to contracts, and people spending more on texts and data.

EE and other mobile networks want you to spend more money with them every month, and super-fast mobile broadband is an important selling point for them. 4G services from other networks are expected to launch later this year, and will hopefully drive down prices and introduce unlimited data.

Have you been tempted by the siren call of broadband on your blower? Is it good value? Or are you waiting for cheaper deals from other companies? Let me know down in the comments, or on our super-fast Facebook page.