Skip to main content

EE defends lack of unlimited 4G data plans

EE's decision to offer no unlimited 4G data plans (opens in new tab) has been backed by the network's consumer chief marketing officer, Pippa Dunn.

This week EE unveiled its 4G tariffs (opens in new tab), which will go live when its 4G network officially launches on 30 October (opens in new tab). The plans range from 500MB at £36 per month to 8GB at £56, with a variety of add-ons, but people have been quick to notice the absence of any unlimited data offerings.

In response to the criticism (opens in new tab), Dunn told TechCrunch (opens in new tab), "You've got your super techie people... who would love nothing more than for us to have given unlimited data packages, but for the vast majority of the 27 million who are our customers, they don't need it, and if we'd had to price for allowing all of those techie users to be able to use as much data as they'd want, your average consumer would really have suffered."

She claimed that, on average, the top 10 per cent of T-Mobile customers on unlimited 3G tariffs make use of around 1.5GB of data per month, which is why any package larger than 8GB was deemed unnecessary. "The only thing that happens when you get an unlimited data plan is you attract the people who cane the network and that's not great for any consumer."

Dunn said, "I think customers will find as a result of being able to do things quicker it will be a much more pleasurable experience and they are likely to end up using more data," though she added that she considers an enormous increase in usage unlikely.

There are also no plans for unlimited 4G data plans on tablets at this time.

It is no secret that EE will enjoy a several month 4G monopoly over its rival UK mobile operators in a period free of any competition, and this is likely to have contributed to EE's contract policy. The network will consider introducing more generous add-ons but its position on unlimited 4G tariffs is unlikely to change - at least until Vodafone and O2 set up their own services (opens in new tab).

The new iPhone 5 is among a small collection of handsets that will be compatible with EE's 4G network (opens in new tab) from the off.

Aatif is a freelance copywriter and journalist based in the UK. He’s written about technology, science and politics for publications including Gizmodo, The Independent, Trusted Reviews, Newsweek, and ITProPortal.