EE puts the brakes on 4G SIM-only plans

The operator, the first to launch a 4G network in the UK, has delayed the introduction of its SIM-only 4G data plans, saying it needs more time to carry out testing.
Written by Ben Woods, Contributor

People who want EE's 4G service without signing up for a phone will have to wait a bit longer, after the operator pushed back the launch of its SIM-only plans.

The company, the UK's only national network to offer 4G LTE services, had planned to offer SIM-only contracts from Friday, but posted on Twitter on Thursday to say it had hit a delay. 

The company blamed an overrun in testing the 4G service for the hold-up.

"We know many customers are keen to get their hands on our SIM-only plans, and we are looking forward to offering them as soon as our testing process is complete. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause," an EE spokesman said.

EE fired up its 4G network on 30 October, and has since been criticised for the pricing and the data limits on its phone bundle plans. As is usual, its SIM-only options are cheaper, as they are designed for customers who already have a 4G-capable handset, such as the iPhone 5, Lumia 920 or Galaxy Note 2 LTE.

On a 12-month contract, pricing for SIM-only deals starts at £21 per month for 500MB, rising to £31 for 3GB or £41 for 8GB of usage. By comparison, a 24-month contract with handset (potentially with an up-front cost) will set buyers back £36 per month for 500MB of data and £56 per month for 8GB.

On Tuesday, EE conceded that the introduction of its 4G service had got off to a bumpy start. Some customers migrating from T-Mobile or Orange have suffered a loss of service, while others have repeatedly been sent an incorrect SIM card.

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