By Jonathan Charles | Sep 12, 2012 09:35 AM EDT
Mobile service in the UK has lagged behind the U.S. with a lack of 4G cellular service, but UK mobile customers will now see the first carrier to offer 4G. Called Everything Everywhere (EE), the carrier is a rebranding of the Orange and T-Mobile UK partnership.
T-Mobile and Orange share coverage in the UK, so signing up to one of the carriers effectively means getting double the coverage. The rebanding means that customers on T-Mobile or Orange will remain with Everything Everywhere. Shops will also be rebranded in London, Manchester, and Liverpool among other regions. Everything Everywhere seems to be a unified slogan targeting 4G coverage. It is unclear whether consumers using 3G-only plans will remain subscribed with T-Mobile or Orange instead of the new 4G brand.
"The networks built last century are too slow to handle the modern, digital age. We are going to change that," EE Chief Executive Olaf Swantee said during the announcement Tuesday.
Twenty million people will have access to 4G service by Christmas. Sixteen cities are being targeted for end-of-year support with testing in London underway.Whether rural regions will ever get the service is a big question considering that broadband edges just over a megabyte in obscure regions.
EE confirmed that Nokia's Lumia 920 Windows Phone 8 smartphone, to be released in November, will support the service. It did not confirm the iPhone 5, but Apple's conference today may reveal support for the carrier. More devices will be announced "shortly" according to Swantee.