November 30, 2015

Orange Upgrades – How to upgrade to EE 4G

1. Orange Upgrades – introduction

Currently on Orange but can’t resist the lure of 4G any longer? We don’t blame you. It’s fast enough to truly transform the way you use mobile data and it’s now widespread and affordable too.

The good news is that as Orange part owns EE there are a number of upgrade options, even if you’re only part way through your contract.

The bad news is that the options available to you and the terms and conditions can be a little confusing, so we’ve decided to make things a little less confusing by laying it all out in a straightforward, easily digestible manner.

2. Are you eligible?

If you’re currently out of contract or have 45 days or less remaining on your contract then you should be eligible to switch to an EE contract.

If you have more than 45 days left in your contract then you may still be eligible for an early upgrade as long as you’ve been in contract for more than 6 months. The following table outlines whether you’re eligible for any form of upgrade:

Contract Type / Months More than 6 Months Into Contract More Than 45 Days Left on Contract Upgrade Type
Pay Monthly Yes Yes Early Upgrade
Pay Monthly Yes No Free Upgrade
Pay Monthly No Yes None
SIM Only 12 Months, 18 or 24 months
Yes Yes Early Upgrade
SIM Only 12 Months, 18 or 24 months
Yes No Free Upgrade
SIM Only 12 Months, 18 or 24 months
No Yes None
SIM Only 30 Days N/A N/A Free Upgrade

3. Free Upgrade

If you’re out of contract or have 45 days or less left then you are eligible to upgrade for free. You’ll be able to get a shiny new 4G phone and upgrade to a new 4GEE plan, but depending on the device chosen and the contract you may have to pay more than you currently do. You upgrade in store, online or over the phone and there are options to recycle your existing handset.

If you already have a 4G ready handset that you are happy to keep you can simply switch to an EE SIM only plan to enjoy Superfast 4G with your existing phone.

4. Early upgrade

Early upgrades allow you to swap to a 4G contract and get a new 4G ready handset. You will however have to pay an early upgrade fee, which will amount to the total monthly line rental due for the remainder of your contract, minus an early upgrade discount (which can be as much as 33%).

Also be aware that you’re only eligible for an early upgrade if you don’t have any outstanding debt on your Orange plan and only if you’re on a personal plan. Business customers aren’t eligible for early upgrades and neither are those on mobile broadband plans.

Assuming you pass that criteria and have checked the table above then you can take advantage of EE’s early upgrade service in store or over the phone.

5. Moving to EE if you already have a 4G phone

If you joined or upgraded on Orange and you’re on a 12, 18 or 24 month contract and have a 4G compatible phone then you can move to a 12, 18 or 24 month contract at EE at any time after the first 60 days of your contract and there’s no charge to move as long as you move to a new contract with at least the same monthly fee as your current one.

For 24 month Orange plans: If you’ve been on your existing plan for at least 60 days but less than 90 days you’ll need to start a new 24 month plan on EE. If you’ve been on your existing plan for at least 90 days but less than 180 days you’ll need to start a new 21 month plan on EE.

For 18 month Orange plans: If you’ve been on your current plan for more than 60 days you’ll need to start a new 18 month plan on EE.

For 12 month Orange plans: If you’ve been on your current plan for more than 60 days you’ll need to start a new 12 month plan on EE.

6. Pay as you go customers

Obviously as a pay as you go customer you aren’t subject to any restrictions when it comes to upgrading or changing network.

You’ll also get to keep any remaining credit and both it and your phone number will automatically transfer to your new EE account within one working day of putting the EE SIM card in your phone.

7. Shared 4GEE plans

It’s also possible to upgrade from Orange to a Shared 4GEE plan, in which case both the Leader and Sharer will be able to upgrade their devices. However be aware that in order to become a Sharer there must be a Leader you can attach to. If on the other hand you want to upgrade from a Sharer to a Leader then the existing Leader must either become a Sharer or move to a standard 4GEE plan. While if a Leader wants to become a Sharer or move to a standard plan then a new Leader must be chosen.

8. Recycle your old handset

If you’re getting a new phone when you switch from Orange to EE then you might be wondering what to do with your old one. An easy and environmentally friendly way to dispose of it (and get some money in the process) is to use EE’s Recycle & Reward service. Simply head over to recycle.ee.co.uk, enter your handset’s make and model and it will tell you what you can get for it. As an example a 16GB iPhone 6S could fetch up to £330, depending on its condition. If you’re happy with the price then just register on the site and EE will send you a freepost envelope to return your phone in and shortly afterwards you’ll get paid.

9. Things to remember when upgrading

Most aspects of moving from Orange to EE are handled by the network, including cancelling your current contract and replacing it with a new one. The main thing you need to do is just pop your new 4G EE SIM card in your phone when it arrives and you can even keep your old number.

However there are a few things you’ll need to do. For one thing anything you currently have saved to your SIM card, which could include contacts, you’ll need to back up somewhere.

Most smartphones give you the option of saving contacts to the phone instead, so if you’re keeping your handset that’s the easiest option. If you’re getting a new phone too then you may want to save them to your Google account for example if using Android, or back them up to a microSD card.

If you’re getting a new phone then you’ll also want to make sure pictures and other important files are backed up somewhere. Apps you can simply download again, but any personal data could get lost in the change.

Once your new SIM card arrives you’ll also need to record a new voicemail message, as any on your Orange account won’t be carried over.

  • Greg davies

    Hi there, I have a total of 4 orange/ee phone contracts with you and I want to know if any can be upgraded as I ve smashed the screen on my iPhone 5c so hoping the other 3 contracts can be upgraded. Thanks Greg

  • Chrisski

    When Can you upgrade your phone if u get an ee 12 month sim only plan?