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4G finally launches in the UK but is it worth the extra money?

4G has officially launched in the UK, paving the way for smartphone users the length and breadth of the country to have access to superfast mobile internet.

Everything Everywhere (EE) will initially launch its range of 4G products and services in ten major cities, before extending the service to other parts of the UK.

Offering speeds up to five times faster than 3G, 4G will be available on the Apple iPhone 5, as well as devices from HTC, Samsung, Nokia and Huawei. Here’s what we can expect from the speedy fourth-generation internet service.

4G roll out details

4G is also expected to roll out to include Belfast, Derby, Hull, Newcastle and Nottingham before the end of 2012, with further towns, cities and rural areas expected to get the service in 2013. This will cover 70% of the population, increasing to 98% by 2014.

EE will be the sole UK provider of the superfast services until next year, with 4G services from Vodafone, O2 owner Telefonica and Three available from next spring.

A pretty penny

The HTC One XL, Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE, iPhone 5 and Huawei Ascend P1 LTE are all available at launch, while the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 LTE and Nokia Lumia 920 (an EE exclusive handset) will be added in November.

EE consumer tariffs, including VAT, start at £36 a month for 500MB of data, unlimited calls and texts on a 24-month contract.

Those who want to bump up their data allowance will pay £41 per month for 1GB, or £46 per month for 3GB, £51 for 5GB and £56 for 8GB. A 12-month SIM-only option will also roll out from 9 November.

Vodafone is also offering a ‘4G phone promise’, giving customers the chance to bring in an eligible phone and have 70% discount on the remainder of their contract, in exchange for a 4G-ready device.

4G services are expected to be roughly the equivalent of wired broadband, offering between five and seven times faster mobile internet speeds and uninterrupted web browsing on the move.

If 4G heralds the end of buffering when downloading movies, and dodgy connections, it’s sure to get the thumbs up from smartphone fans. Right!?

We’re interested to hear what you think about 4G in the UK and the current price plans available. Worth it now or worth waiting for? Let us know in the comments section below!

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