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EE doubles 4G speeds, promises 80Mbps top speed

4G network EE is doubling its speeds, without charging extra -- so you can burn through your data allowance even faster.

EE is doubling down on 4G. Britain's first super-fast phone network is boosting its speeds without charging any extra, so you can burn through your data even faster.

EE claims the maximum speed will climb to over 80Mbps, and average speeds will increase to over 20Mbps.

Although prices remain the same, so do data caps -- which means you burn through your data allowance even faster. From a quick bit of back-of-the-envelope maths, we reckon if you buy a Galaxy S4 LTE on their 'best value' £41 per month tariff, at 20Mbps you'll go through your 1GB of data in less than 7 minutes -- despite EE's insistence that unlimited data plans are "unnecessary".

Network capacity is being doubled to 20MHz by June for 4G customers in 10 cities: Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, and Sheffield.

The speed boost puts EE "in a very strong position" despite concerns over price, says industry expert Matthew Howett at Ovum. That "makes it more difficult for their peers to play catch-up once they launch networks in the coming weeks and months."

"Not so long ago, it looked like Britain would be condemned to the slow lane for years to come. However in just 6 months, over half the UK has now been covered with 4G LTE," notes Howett. But the fun and games are still to come. "While EE certainly hasn’t taken its head start for granted, the real test will come once Vodafone, O2 and Three launch 4G LTE networks of their own -- a moment that is now just a matter of weeks away."

Have you signed up to 4G EE? What do you think of EE's prices? Are the new speeds tempting or are you waiting for the other networks to get in the game? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.