EE and O2 widen UK LTE battle to pay-as-you-go market

Announcements on LTE tariffs and promotions as well as network coverage are coming fast and furious from UK operators, with both EE and Telefónica-owned O2 UK saying they have now launched pay-as-you-go tariffs to LTE customers.

At the same time, EE said it has extended its LTE network coverage to an additional 14 towns while Vodafone UK is now offering its LTE services in Scotland for the first time.

"One year on from our launch we are bringing 4G to even more places, making the UK's fastest mobile network available to even more people," EE CEO Olaf Swantee said in a statement. "We continue to grow our 4G coverage all around the country, and the new range of plans gives consumers and businesses more flexibility and choice in how they access superfast mobile."

EE launched new 4GEE and 4GEE Extra plans, along with its first PAYG plans for smartphones. To promote its PAYG plans, EE said it's offering 10 GB of data for 90 days to everyone who buys a new 4GEE phone. Data top-ups start from £3 ($4.77) for 100 MB a month and ramp up to £30 ($47.80) for 10 GB.

O2 UK also said it has introduced new pay-as-you-go tariffs to make it easier for customers to access LTE services. The new 4G Pay & Go Go Go tariff starts at £15 a month and includes 500 MB of data, 75 minutes and 500 texts. After three months, the tariff value doubles to 1GB of data, 150 inclusive minutes and 1000 texts. Users are also able to bolt on 1 GB of data for £10 whenever they need.

O2 UK further confirmed that it will launch a new range of "4G Mobile Broadband" tariffs for tablets in November.

"This is a really important time for 4G in the UK," Phil Maple, general manager of consumer marketing at O2, said in a statement. "Increasingly our customers are telling us that they want choice and flexibility when choosing a tariff, and that's why we've introduced 4G on Pay & Go."

Not to be left out, Vodafone also said it is extending its "4GBonus" that adds an extra 4 GB a month to its Red 4G-ready LTE plans for contract users. "We've now extended the deadline for the #4GBonus so that anyone taking out a Red 4G-ready plan before the end of January 2014 will be able to use an extra 4GB of UK data each month at no extra cost," Vodafone said on its Vodafone Social blog.

For more:
- see this O2 UK release
- see this EE release
- see this Vodafone post

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EE slashes LTE prices, warns on capex cuts
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