Everything Everywhere, parent company of UK mobile networks Orange and T-Mobile, have today announced the rollout of the nation's first 4G network, alongside a complete rebranding to 'EE.'
Olaf Swantee, EE's CEO, Olaf Swantee took to the stage at the London Science Museum to introduce the new brand: "a simple, visible signal to our customers," which will offer both 4G mobile data and fibre broadband to its home and business customers. They've well and truly beaten the rest to the punch.
I, personally, like the logo design; but it's easy to see how it can be rather polarising in terms of design. Maybe it's because of the multiple Ishihara Tests (the colour blindness tests to identify numbers within a jumble of coloured dots) I had to take as a child that attracts me to this.
Taking away the small hints towards MGS2 felt by few of the passionate (the oh-so annoying Emma Emmerich (EE) escort missions), this is a rather exciting-yet-confusing launch. It will combine both both the networks they already control in the country; but also will stand alongside Orange and T-Mobile as a solely 4G network, making the question of customer migration to this new network questionable. Will Orange and T-Mobile receive 4G also, or do we have to migrate? Do customers keep their benefits earned through a long term use of their service, or is this a new leaf? We have reached out to EE for comment about these possible issues.
Regardless of these questions, the rollout looks to be rather agressive, getting the service out to 16 cities by the end of 2012, with a launch in the coming weeks. First places to receive the upgrade are Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Derby, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Nottingham, Newcastle, Sheffield and Southampton. No doubt we'll be testing this soon.
In terms of devices, users will have access to a few choices by the end of the year: Samsung Galaxy S III LTE, HTC One XL, Huawei Ascend P1 LTE and (as tipped by many bloggers) the Nokia Lumia 820 and 920. Internet USB dongles will also be available for the data service. We await the announcement of an LTE iPhone 5 to finish the line-up and propel the network into the stratosphere...you know it's coming. It's too good of an opportunity for EE to miss.