Affordable 4G handsets, 4G contracts key to EE reaching 400,000 customers

Nearly six months after its 4G service was switched on, the average cost of 4G services is still significantly higher than the equivalent 3G ones.

This together with the lack of affordable 4G handsets and true high-end data services may provide an unexpected opportunity for rivals to catch up.

All EE tariffs come with unlimited texts and minutes and only the data allowance varies. For £31 per month, you get 500MB and either the Huawei Ascend P1 4G, the HTC One SV or the Nokia Lumia 820.

In comparison, you get top of the range smartphones like the Sony Xperia Z or the Nokia Lumia 920 on the same tariff at T-Mobile (on the Full Monty) albeit with 1,000 minutes.

EE has tweaked its plans by offering, for example, inclusive add-ons like tethering, unlimited music, games, television or Wi-Fi for free. But still, data hungry users are likely to have bill shocks if they regularly download large amounts of data.

As it stands, the most expensive data plan at EE costs £56 and comes with 8GB allowance. Adding another 4GB would cost you £20, which is what you’d pay extra to move from the cheapest 500MB plan to the most expensive 8GB one (i.e. 7.5GB).

EE confirmed earlier this month that cheaper handsets would be introduced which would go a long away to reduce the cost of ownership of 4G technology but beyond that, expect the incumbent 4G service provider to adjust its offers based on market conditions.