3’s 4G won’t cost more

The 3 network won’t charge more for 4G when it rolls out its service later this year – distinguishing itself from rival EE.

3's 4G won't cost more

So far, EE – the tie-up between T-Mobile and Orange – is the only network to offer 4G, but its contracts have tight data caps and prices that include the most expensive plan in the UK.

“LTE, otherwise known as 4G, will be added to 3’s Ultrafast network later this year,” the company said. “Unlike some other UK mobile operators, it will be available across all existing and new price plans without customers needing to pay a premium fee to upgrade.”

Any customer on the network will be upgraded to 4G when it’s rolled out later this year, “without paying a premium or needing to swap SIM cards or price plans”.

The dig at EE is intriguing as 3’s 4G services will be rolled out over the 1,800MHz spectrum that it’s buying from its larger rival, offered by EE in a bid to avoid regulator scrutiny.

That will allow 3 to roll out 4G without waiting for the results of the ongoing spectrum auction, although 3 is also seeking permission from Ofcom to use its existing 2,100MHz spectrum to roll out 4G services.

The telecoms regulator is currently looking into whether it should allow EE’s rivals to use existing spectrum to roll out 4G services without waiting for the auction results, with a decision expected this spring.

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