T-Mobile and Orange customers who want to sign up for a 4G service will have to transfer their custom to EE, it has emerged, as the process of shifting subscribers to the relatively new brand begins in earnest.
EE, which operates the UK's sole 4G network, is owned by the same Deutsche Telekom and France Télécom joint venture that owns T-Mobile and Orange.
It had been thought in some quarters that T-Mobile and Orange planned to use EE’s 4G infrastructure as a platform to launch a next-gen mobile internet service of their own, most likely later this year.
However, EE yesterday told our sister site Omio that it is reserving 4G for the EE brand and that T-Mobile and Orange will continue to offer 3G only.
An EE spokesperson said: “Orange and T-Mobile are 3G brands only so customers would need to move to EE if they would like to use 4G.
“There are no plans to launch 4G on Orange and T-Mobile. As below, EE is our 4G brand.”
Whether Orange and T-Mobile will survive as brands in the long term isn’t yet clear. But we’d say that the sheer strength of Orange's brand gives it a much better chance of lasting the distance than T-Mobile.
EE last week announced it is doubling data allowances on 4G plans as part of a limited-period promo. The sweetener is intended to soak up early adopters ahead of the launch of rival 4G services from Three and O2 later this year.