Want an iPhone 5 on 4G? Here's how it works

Want an iPhone 5 on 4G? Here's how it worksSo in all the excitement over the iPhone 5 and the fact that it'll be offered on EE's newly announced 4G LTE network, it's easy to overlook a simple point: that 4G network doesn't actually exist yet.

As a workaround, EE says if you sign up with Orange or T-Mobile in the meantime it'll bump you up to 4G when its high-speed service is fully up and running. The downside is your iPhone could be two generations out of date by the time your contract runs out.

The prospect of the iPhone 5 on 4G is sure to be a massive draw for EE – especially with biggest rivals O2 and Vodafone locked out of the 4G promised land for the time being. What it doesn't want, though, is potential customers signing up elsewhere while its 4G infrastructure is still being finalised.

Its solution? Anyone who signs up for the iPhone 5 on a 3G contract through Orange and T-Mobile in the meantime will be allowed to break their contract without penalty once the EE 4G network is up and running.

However, the 4G contract must be of equivalent value and duration and – here's the kicker – starts afresh from day one. So if you sign up for an iPhone 5 on a placeholder 24-month deal on launch day next Friday, and it takes another two months for EE to get its ducks in a row, you're effectively looking at 26 months on the same contract, and with the same phone.

By the end of it you're likely to have seen not one but two newer generations of iPhone launched while you plod on with Old Faithful – unless you buy out your contract or trade in for an upgrade.

It's less of an issue should you go for a 18-month deal up front of course, but still, working on the assumption that you'd happily go for a 4G deal from the start if one was available, would it be that big a deal to subtract the time you spend stuck on 3G from the duration of your 4G contract?

Read more about: Apple iPhone 5OrangeT-mobile

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29 comments

Pondlife  Sep. 14, 2012 at 18:25

Equivalent value and duration but not necessarily equal minutes, texts and data, sounds bad plan to sign up without a clue what you'd get.
Also says on tmobile site that charges might apply too.
4G: Subject to coverage. UK only. Pay monthly only. When 4G launches a compatible plan on EE is required. Charges may apply and you'll have to agree to a new minimum term on EE. Other terms apply.

morpheus  Sep. 14, 2012 at 19:48

The quoted example of a 24 month contract turning into a 26 month contract is hardly a deal breaker though is it.... two extra months over 2 years...

The bigger issue is as listed by pondlife above.

Pondlife  Sep. 14, 2012 at 19:52

Would effectively add an extra 60+ to cost of phone by having to stay for extra 2 months though.

Now the twitter bit on the EE site says that there won't be charges for switching over but doesn't tally with main site text.

martinwallis  Sep. 14, 2012 at 20:48

There aren't charges to switch over, as in, there won't be a penalty charge, however there may be a rise in tariff price.

martinjjames / MOD  Sep. 14, 2012 at 20:50

Equivalent value and duration but not necessarily equal minutes, texts and data, sounds bad plan to sign up without a clue what you'd get.
Also says on tmobile site that charges might apply too.
4G: Subject to coverage. UK only. Pay monthly only. When 4G launches a compatible plan on EE is required. Charges may apply and you'll have to agree to a new minimum term on EE. Other terms apply.


I'd imagine "compatible plan" would be defined as a plan costing the same, or more, per month. So you can stick with your monthly rate for less minutes/data etc, or cough up more for the same allowances.

> Would effectively add an extra 60+ to cost of phone by having to stay for extra 2 months though. <

Exactly. Considering it's already more expensive to begin with, having to wait an extra couple of months to upgrade, and pay £60 for the privilege, is a bit hard to swallow. Yes that's the worst case scenario, but to spin the whole thing like they're doing people a big favour by letting them terminate their contracts without penalty is a bit of a stretch.

martinwallis  Sep. 14, 2012 at 20:54

I couldn't care less about LTE anyway, will only be available in 16 cities by the year end, and I don't live anywhere near any of them.

Pondlife  Sep. 14, 2012 at 20:58

If the contract was just to the end of the year then yeah that would make sense.

morpheus  Sep. 14, 2012 at 21:49

Would effectively add an extra 60+ to cost of phone by having to stay for extra 2 months though.

Now the twitter bit on the EE site says that there won't be charges for switching over but doesn't tally with main site text.


Seriously.... £800 / £900 / £1000 on a phone contract and you think someone would worry about £60?!?!?!?

Plus its not purely adding to the cost of the phone, is it? Its also the extra minutes, texts and data.

Pondlife  Sep. 14, 2012 at 21:58

Well sure some like the phone companies to screw them over

AhmadCentral  Sep. 14, 2012 at 22:19

I'm a bit worried about the 'equivalent' plan bit. So someone on T-Mo paying £36pm for unl data could potentially have to switch to an EE plan at £36pm but with say only 3GB data.

Right?

Pondlife  Sep. 14, 2012 at 22:45

Seems that way. But you would be able to stay on 3g I guess...
I'd definitely want more info from ee.

matt101101 / MOD  Sep. 14, 2012 at 22:45

I'm a bit worried about the 'equivalent' plan bit. So someone on T-Mo paying £36pm for unl data could potentially have to switch to an EE plan at £36pm but with say only 3GB data.

Right?

Or 2GB, or 1GB, or 500MB etc...

It's marketing BS to get people to buy iPhone 5 contracts and then rip them off to use 4G.

matt101101 / MOD  Sep. 14, 2012 at 22:52

Seems that way. But you would be able to stay on 3g I guess...
I'd definitely want more info from ee.

Defeating the point of rushing to sign up with T-Mob or Orange, yes?

Pondlife  Sep. 14, 2012 at 23:09

Hell yes, but I don't rush into things like that anyway

matt101101 / MOD  Sep. 14, 2012 at 23:10

Hell yes, but I don't rush into things like that anyway
Nor do I. Not that it affects me, my current SIMO contract doesn't run out until the middle of March 2013 anyway.

Pondlife  Sep. 14, 2012 at 23:28

30d notice :)

matt101101 / MOD  Sep. 14, 2012 at 23:35

30d notice :)
Yes...true, it still runs out in March 2013, though. My earliest notice day is Feb 19th according to "My T-Mobile".

Pondlife  Sep. 14, 2012 at 23:41

I meant I've only got 30d notice tbh.

matt101101 / MOD  Sep. 14, 2012 at 23:45

I meant I've only got 30d notice tbh.
Ahh, you on a 1 month rolling contract?

Pondlife  Sep. 14, 2012 at 23:50

Yep. And p&go on the broadband.

Guan  Sep. 15, 2012 at 09:57

"will be allowed to break their contract without penalty once the EE 4G network is up and running". I assume they'll only break the contract, if you sign up for the 4G. What if then, you're not happy with the 4G service and terminate within the first 7 days can you just keep the phone? Or will you have to pay for the remainder of the service part of the 4G contract, as you had already paid for the phone as part of your first contract?

Pondlife  Sep. 15, 2012 at 12:59

You won't have paid for the phone as part of the first contract, you'll have paid for x/24 (+handset extra price) of the phone dependant on how many months late they are. And absolutely totally fundamentally no way you'll be able to dump it in seven days and just keep the phone. Everyone would do that then, practically free iphone 5. At best you may be able to move back to the old contract at worst and more likely stuck with 4g on that contract.

For those who aren't in the 16 cities it sounds worse prospect as could have it for 36m or more.

CTPAHHIK  Sep. 17, 2012 at 09:05

I know that majority of people buy subsidized phones with contract, but I fail to understand why. Does not matter which contract you get it is always cheaper to buy iPhone unlocked from the store and go with pay monthly. This is not always the case with other phones, but iPhone + contract always gets you ripped off.
Anyone looking to pay for phone over time can get 0% APR credit card for this. If you cannot get such credit card I doubt you can afford £600 phone, unless you give up on something in return. Why would you want to do that for a plastic toy?

Pondlife  Sep. 17, 2012 at 10:43

Not seen any 2 year 0% interest credit cards. Seems lots are prepared to do that for a plastic toy anyway. Not really subsidised if it costs more, regardless I think many don't think about it much just look at free or cheap initial outlay. Still such stupid spending keeps the economy ticking over.

matt101101 / MOD  Sep. 17, 2012 at 11:26

Still such stupid spending keeps the economy ticking over.
No it doesn't. The drooling masses buy things on credit, default on the payments and then blame the lenders for being "unfair" when they, shockingly, actually want their money back (complete with the interest which people were too f*cking stupid to know about, because reading a contract is apparently hard if your IQ is 17).

Rant over....possibly.

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