TUAW readers in the UK now have a fast new LTE network to connect to with their iPhone 5s and other devices that work with the technology. EE, a new company made up of “equal parts T-Mobile and Orange” according to our sister site Engadget, turned on its new 4G LTE network in London, Bristol, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield and parts of Southampton. Engadget’s Mat Smith took his iPhone 5 for a spin on the network and found a lot to like.
EE plans to expand the network to five more cities before the calendar flips to 2013. Smith noted that the network didn’t work inside a home in central London early on in the deployment, but that things improved — not only for the 4G LTE network, but for 3G as well.
So, how were the network speeds? Pretty good. In a simple test, Smith took two iPhone 5s — one with a 3G SIM and one with a 4G SIM installed — and set both phones to download Rovio’s Bad Piggies app. The app weighs in at 41 MB, and the 4G iPhone was able to download it in just 22 seconds. For the 3G iPhone 5, that same download took just under two minutes. Download speeds averaged about 26 Mbps in LTE zones.
The post points out that UK users should choose at least the 2 GB data plan, and that the plans are definitely not cheap. However, it’s worth a look for iPhone 5 users with a need for speed.