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EE adds cheaper 4G deal and more data

EE has responded to criticism of high prices and meagre data by adding cheaper prices and more data to your 4G phone.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
Expertise Films, TV, Movies, Television, Technology
Richard Trenholm
2 min read
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Think 4G is too expensive? EE has responded to criticism of high prices and meagre data by adding cheaper prices and more data to your iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE or other 4G phone.

A new £31 monthly deal launches on 31 January. This new 24-month contract gets you unlimited UK calls and texts, and 500MB of mobile data. That's the cheapest deal EE has offered so far, but you do have to pay extra for whichever phone you choose. The new deal slashes a fiver off the current cheapest deal.

If you only want to sign up for a year, giving you more freedom to change deal, phone or even network later on, the monthly payment is £41.

More data for 'super-users'

One of the criticisms levelled at EE is that the data allowances are too small, especially when the service is designed for you to use data faster and, therefore, probably use more of it. EE protests that only 1 per cent of 4G customers want more than 8GB -- but that doesn't count the many people who've avoided becoming EE customers for precisely that reason.

Anyway, EE is catering to those data-gobbling 'super-users' with a new maximum data allowance of 20GB. Buy your own phone and EE will furnish you with a SIM card and 20GB of data each month for a year, for £46.

A 20GB deal with a phone thrown in costs £61 per month, lasting two years.

If you're tempted by those prices, don't hang about: if you sign up before the end of February you'll get that price for the length of your contract. But anyone signing up from 1 March will have to pay £61 per month for the SIM-only deal or an eye-watering £76 per month if you get a phone too.

Pre-emptive strike 

The cheaper tariff is welcome, but still comes with a pretty miserly data allowance. Telecoms analyst Matthew Howett at Ovum reckons EE has made changes partly as a response to criticism, but also to pre-empt rivals: "EE's decision to offer both a lower-priced tariff at the entry level and a plan with more data at the top end is clearly in response to customer feedback.

"More importantly though, it is a pre-emptive strike aimed at competitors who are soon to launch tariffs of their own once the long-overdue auction of 4G licences is completed."

Rival networks could launch 4G services as soon as May, including the newly announced Phones 4U network Life Mobile.

Are these new tariffs EE-conomical or EE-xpensive? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page, and press play on our video below to see EE's 4G phones in action.

Watch this: 4GEE phones speed test