EE has cut the prices for its ultra-high speed 4G services as rivals operators begin to launch their competing services.
Ahead of the spectrum auction this month, EE has introduced a new basic tariff for its 4G service, priced at £31, along with a new “super-user” service, which offers up to 20GB of data for £46 per month.
The spectrum auction will see UK operators bid against each other for their share of the country’s 4G spectrum and the opportunity to offer their own faster 4G services.
The results of the auction will be known by March, and firms are expected to have their services available by Summer 2012.
Pippa Dunn, chief marketing officer at EE, said: “It is our aim to offer consumers the most comprehensive range of 4G EE price plans.”
“With these new options we’re looking to not only make 4G smartphones even more accessible, but offer even greater value for the small number of super-users out there.”
Following the new tariff announcements Matthew Howett, telecoms regulation analyst at Ovum,said:
“EE’s decision to offer both a relatively 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 its competitors who are soon to launch tariffs of their own once the long-overdue auction of 4G licences is completed.
“It’s fair to say that EE has attracted a fair degree of criticism not so much for the price of the 4G tariffs, but rather on the amount of data bundled at each level. EE was always going to have a difficult role to play being the first mover. However, its peers may be grateful for attempting to move away from an all-you-can-eat world for data to an attempt to monetise it. Offering a more generous (but capped), data allowance for ‘super-users’ is still consistent with that pragmatic move.
“Trying to convince consumers to buy into something they haven’t yet seen or had experience of is a difficult task, and is further complicated by EE’s desire to both make the most of its headstart over the other mobile operators, and to clearly differentiate the 4G offering from the rest of its offering. In the end it has gone for the middle ground and priced services at a premium but not at levels completely inaccessible to the mass market.”
Meanwile, EE partnered with independent phone retailer Phones 4U to launch a new mobile virtual network operator known as LIFE Mobile, which is set to launch in March.