To get on board with 4G, there are a few essential things you need to know. First of all, you should know that the only operator currently offering services for users with 4G smartphones in the UK is Everything Everywhere (EE). The network was granted permission to reform existing spectrum suitable for 4G LTE (long term evolution – the name for the 4G services we can expect to use in Britain) and roll out its network before everybody else in order to bring 4G to the UK as quickly as possible. However, an auction for the remaining spectrum has now taken place, and other operators will now be planning to roll out their own 4G services in the coming months or by 2014.
On the EE network, only a certain number of devices are ready and capable to run super-fast 4G services. However, the list of eligible devices includes some of the UK’s top-end best-sellers, such as the Nokia Lumia 820 and 920, the Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE and Samsung Galaxy Note 2 LTE, the HTC One SV LTE and One XL, the Huawei Ascend P1 LTE and the BlackBerry Z10. There is also good news for iPhone fans, as the iPhone 5 16GB, 32GB and 64GB areall available on the 4G network, as the iPhone 5 supports 1800Mhz, the spectrum band used by the EE 4G network. A good rule of thumb when trying to work out whether a handset will support 4G is to look for LTE in the product name. Handsets bought before mid-September 2012, even those that claim to be 4G-ready, are also not likely to work with the EE 4G network.
4G in your area
Another thing to bear in mind is that the nationwide 4G rollout is still on-going, and not all areas are currently provided with 4G coverage. EE plans to deliver 4G to 70 per cent of the British population by the end of 2013 and most major towns and cities are now supplied with 4G services, but you should check the EE website to find out whether your area is covered.