I have to be honest with you, I had been ignoring the bruhaha that was 4G/LTE! Even when many technorati seemed to be so excited about it and discussed/debated it so often. I coudn’t care less! Why? Because we ain’t got any! Not here in the UK. So, it’s really hard to get excited when in reality we haven’t got a clue when or if we are actually going to enjoy it.
That is until this week! When the iPhone 5 announced that the handset will carry 4G/LTE wizardy in its alumunium cloak, I started to pay attention. And when one friend mention to me that it is in fact will arrive in the UK imminently, I started to get excited.
But first, let set aside a bit of time and try to understand what is the fuss all about. What makes 4G/LTE so special that the mighty Apple cares to ‘redesign’ the iPhone’s inside to fit in this particular functionality into its already crammed electronics.
What is 4G/LTE? After reading a bit more (with that I mean perusing Wikipedia entries), I concluded that it is all down to one thing … Fast Internet! Blindingly Fast! Just think about it like this, if we consider the current 3G wireless network to be similar to our ADSL broadband we get at our home landline, the 4G/LTE is the Fibre Optic equivalent. Apparently the 4G/LTE speed can reach, theoretically, upto 300 Mbit/s! That’s like 15 times faster than ADSL, and more compare to the 3G speed.
Again this is only maximum speed, which I presume rarely becomes reality in practice. As a matter of fact, looking at the diagram that Apple has in their website, the 4G/LTE that iPhone 5 carries can operate up to only 100 Mbit/s. But, assuming we can reach that speed, it is still about 5 times faster than 3G. Suddenly all those raw processing powers seem making sense, cause we need it when all those data start coming in very fast. HD Youtube Video, High Fidelity Spotify streaming, Cloud storage backup, Multiplayer Games, etc. And finally I understand why this issue was so much talked about by the tech pundits. It is indeed quite revolutionary, and it has a chance to revolutionise consumer electronics.
So, now that we’ve got the technical bit out of the way, the next questions are, can we get this thing in the UK, and how?
The answer to the first question is yes we can! How do we get it? EverythingEverywhere is the answer :)
EverythingEverywhere, EE for short, is a new commnication company that was seemed created on the back of the merger of 2 major UK mobile networks, Orange and T-Mobile. As it turned out, EE is the first UK network which will provide 4G/LTE service to the mass.
Consequently, if you want to take the full advantage of having an iPhone 5 with a superfast network, right now your only choice is either Orange or T-Mobile. I personally went to my local EE shop to ask specifically about the 4G/LTE roll out. The customer service with whom I talked to said that the service should be live not long after the iPhone official lauch date, which is next week. That sounds promising. The only thing is that we need to exchange tariff to a new 4G/LTE one when it is out.
I actually ended up pre-ordering the iPhone 5 for the Orange network, since I’m already a customer, this was just an upgrade for me, which seemed to get me a discount of £50 on the handset price. I’m looking forward to experience this 4G/LTE and I will surely let you know how it goes. In the meantime checkout my UK Tariff Comparison for the iPhone for the list of prices.