EE overhauled its monthly mobile plans, introducing three new tiers and including ‘roam like home’ benefits and free BT Sport within the premium plans.
The new plans from the BT-owned mobile operator are called 4GEE Essential, 4GEE and 4GEE Max. The premium 4GEE Max plans provide the highest data allowances of up to 40 GB a month and also allow voice minutes, texts and inclusive data allowances to be used in the EU like in the UK. However, the company has set a fair usage policy of 15 GB per month for data roaming.
The provision of inclusive roaming also brings EE more in line with rival offerings: both Vodafone UK and Three UK already offer similar benefits, while other operators throughout Europe are also starting to add free roaming allowances to pre-empt the abolition of retail roaming charges in the European Union from June 2017.
4GEE Max plans also provide free access to BT Sport for the duration of the 24-month contract. EE has previously said that BT Sport is the first in a series of BT benefits to be made available to its customers. It is also the first time that a BT service will be promoted through EE's retail stores.
The 4GEE and 4GEE Essentials plans include free BT Sport for six months, while the 4GEE plans also offer unlimited calls and texts in the EU and 500 MB of free roaming data per month.
Pricing depends on the handset, but 4GEE Max prices start from £25.99 (€30/$34) a month for a 3 GB plan while the 40 GB plan costs from £45.99 a month. 4GEE Essential plans are positioned as entry-level contracts and start from £16.99 a month for 300 MB of data.
EE also differentiates the plans by speed, offering its “fastest 4G speeds” with 4GEE Max (theoretically up to 90 Mbps); up to 60 Mbps with 4GEE; and up to 20 Mbps with 4GEE Essentials. Wi-Fi calling and 4G Calling -- the company’s voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) service -- are also provided where they are supported by a customer’s device.
Although the overhaul means that EE no longer offers a 50 GB plan for smartphone use, the new plans still retain generous mobile data allowances and continue to offer a wide range of price points for customers. However, the operator still has to contend with the “all you can eat” strategy of Three UK, which still offers a plan with unlimited mobile data, texts and minutes for £33 a month.
- see this EE release
EE steps up content play with free BT Sports offer
BT Mobile launches new mobile phone contracts, insists EE brand is to stay
EE pledges to extend 4G coverage to 95% of UK landmass by 2020