Fourth Generation (4G) mobile services have finally arrived in the UK, allowing users of mobile broadband to take advantage of the faster speeds now available to them. With download speeds of up to 40Mbps and upload speeds of up to 12Mbps in 4G-enabled areas, a whole new world of possibilities opens up for mobile broadband users, allowing them to potentially stream TV and HD video on the go. It's good news for gamers, too. 4G has lower latency, making games more responsive and reducing that annoying lag that can plague gamers at crucial moments.
So, where is it currently available? As of the end of March 2013, 4G coverage is available in 50 towns and cities around the UK, with plans to cover 70% of the UK by the end of 2013, and 98% by the end of 2014. Some of the areas with 4G available already include Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Derby, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield.
If you're interested in 4G, then you'll need a provider. EE are currently the only supplier of 4G services in the UK. Their services went live in October 2012, and they have a range of packages available to suit customer needs, from USB dongles for individual laptop users, to WiFi routers for multiple devices on the go, to packages including iPads for those who want the convenience of a tablet while out and about. However, EE won't be the only 4G suppliers on the market for much longer, meaning customers will have more choices for 4G suppliers available to them in the near future. BT, O2, Three and Vodaphone will also be offering 4G mobile broadband plans at some point this year, likely from the Summer onwards.
Interested in getting 4G mobile broadband? Check out our handy 4G mobile broadband comparison table to find the best deal for you!
Virgin Media are offering 6 months half price on their TV, broadband and phone collections.
The Essential Collection starts at £13 a month, increasing to £26 a month after the first 6 months. It comes with over 90 TV channels, a 500GB TiVo box and unlimited weekend calls to UK landlines and Virgin mobiles and an up to 30Mb fibre optic broadband connection.
Similarly, the Premiere Collection also comes with a 500GB TiVo box and unlimited weekend calls to UK landlines and Virgin mobiles, plus over 185 TV channels and an up to 60Mb broadband connection. It costs £24 a month, increasing to £48 after the first 6 months.
The VIP Collection is £49.50 for the first 6 months, increasing to £90 a month. It comes with an up to 100Mb broadband connection, over 250 TV channels and a 1TB TiVo box. The included phone package includes unlimited Anytime calls to UK landlines, 0845 and 0870 numbers and all mobile providers. It also includes Talk International for cheaper international calls.
All three of these Collection packages come with Virgin TV Anywhere (which allows you to watch live TV and use On Demand from your computer or mobile device) and free installation.
The Classic Collection remains at £8 a month for 6 months, which works out at better than half price. It comes with over 55 TV channels, a 500GB TiVo box, unlimited weekend calls to UK landlines and Virgin mobiles and a fibre optic broadband connection of up to 30Mb a month. Installation costs £49.95.
Line rental from Virgin Media is required for all Collections at £14.99 a month.
Tesco are offering £30 giftcards when customers sign up for their broadband and phone packages. This is on top of their current reduced price broadband deals, which start at £2.50 a month for 12 months. To claim both offers, be sure to quote 'GIFTCARD-D' on checkout.
Virgin Media's TV, phone and broadband collections now come with £75 credit and free installation. This is an offer that stacks with the 6 months half price deal that is also currently in place on collections.
TalkTalk's new Plus TV, broadband and phone service has now been launched for £14.50 a month. YouView offers customers 74 Freeview channels, 4000+ films and shows, 7 day catchup and the option of Sky Sports and Movies. Customers will recieve a free YouView box (worth £299) and 12 months of LOVEFiLM Instant.