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iPhone on 4G EE gets visual voicemail, Orange due in 'weeks'

The five-year-old feature, which lists your voicemails in easy-to-digest form, was previously only available on O2.

EE is bringing visual voicemail to its iPhone-owning customers -- but currently only if you're on one of the company's swanky 4G tariffs.

If you're a 4GEE customer with one of Apple's shiny smart phones, text 'iPhone visual' (without the quote marks) to 150 to turn on the service, which lists your voicemails on-screen and makes it easy to hear, delete and respond to your voicemail.

Although Apple debuted the handy service way back in 2007, until now O2 is the only network who bothered switching it on for iPhone customers.

You'll need to make sure you've got iOS 6 or higher installed on your mobile, as well as up-to-date carrier settings -- EE has published some hints on how to update those settings. It should work on any iPhone, although only iPhone 5 owners will be on 4GEE.

Unfortunately, although EE is the umbrella-like network that also runs both Orange and T-Mobile, right now visual voicemail is only available to 4G customers on a 4GEE contract.

Orange customers shouldn't have long to wait however. I contacted EE, which told me, "We're rolling out visual voicemail in a controlled manner starting with customers on the new superfast EE brand. We aim to offer it to Orange customers in forthcoming weeks."

The news is less positive if you're on T-Mobile and long overdue some visual voicemail antics. EE told me it's "reviewing it for roll out to T-Mobile customers at a later stage", which means you may be waiting a while longer.

Visual voicemail is an extremely handy iPhone tool, so it's great to see EE adding the service. As this 2011 post from Mobile Industry Review notes, however, it's ludicrous that it's taken operators this long to activate a service that's over five years old.

Are you itching for visual voicemail? What do you think of EE's 4G network? Leave me a message in the comments, or on our Facebook wall. I leave you with a video of Steve Jobs introducing the somehow-still-not-standard feature, way back in 2007.