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EE Double Speed and 4G+ - What you need to know

22nd February 2018

double speed 4G

What is double speed 4G?

Essentially double speed 4G is exactly what it sounds - 4G at twice the normal speed. Of course ‘normal speed’ is pretty non-specific in itself but we know that 4G is about 5 times faster than 3G with double speed 4G running at 10 times that of 3G.

To get more specific, double speed EE 4G comes in at an average speed of around 24-30Mbps for downloads, with headline speeds of up to 60Mbps. That’s compared to average basic 4G speeds of around 12-15Mbps, while upload speeds should average around 11Mbps compared to 5-6Mbps on standard speed 4G, so it really is double speed.

What is 4G+?

4G+ is EE’s name for LTE Advanced (aka LTE-A) and it’s even faster than double speed, offering top download speeds of around 90Mbps. That makes it up to 25 times faster than 3G.

Does anyone else offer double speed 4G or 4G+?

No other network offers a double speed service. O2, Vodafone and Three are a bit cagy on their specific 4G speeds, but claim that they’re around 5-6 times faster than 3G, which would put them roughly in line with EE’s ‘normal’ 4G speeds. Recent network tests from the likes of Speedtest and OpenSignal confirm this.

However, Vodafone does offer a 4G LTE Advanced service, similar to 4G+, but according to Vodafone it’s only currently available in London, Manchester and Birmingham.

It’s worth noting that if and when other networks do start offering double speed 4G they may not use the same terminology, they may just call it a speed boost or some other buzz word, though we’ll be sure to let you know if any substantial speed increases do go ahead.

How is EE double speed possible?

EE has enough spectrum available to it to be able to allocate twice as much spectrum to customers as it did in the initial rollout, so while locations with standard speed 4GEE will allow customers to use 2 x 10 MHz of 1800MHz spectrum, double speed locations will allow customers to use 2 x 20 MHz of 1800MHz spectrum.

EE uses the analogy that it’s like adding two additional lanes of traffic to a road and changing the speed limit, so that more cars can travel and they can move at a higher speed.

As you’re not actually using any more data it also won’t affect your data use, it just means that the data you are using will be sent and received faster.

EE claims that it has enough spectrum that even as more people join its network it will still have the capacity to offer double speed 4G, even at peak times and in busy locations.

How is 4G+ possible?

EE’s 4G+ service uses MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) technology to combine multiple antennas and multiple signals.

Normally data is sent from a mast using a single antenna to another antenna on a smartphone, but with MIMO two (or more) antennas can send data at the same time from a single mast and there would also be multiple antennas receiving the data on your smartphone or other device.

Essentially that just means more data can be sent at once, thereby increasing your speeds.

Who can use double speed and 4G+?

Anyone with a 4G contract on EE and a 4G-ready handset or dongle can use double speed 4G at no extra charge and with no additional setup required, you just have to be in an area that receives a double speed signal.

Right now, double speed is available on most of EE’s network though, accounting for over 80% of the UK population, so there’s a good chance you can get it where you are.

However, you won’t necessarily be able to tell that you’re in a double speed area as there’s no change to how the network appears on your phone, the only indication will be the fact that everything goes much faster.

As for 4G+, for that you’ll need to be on one of EE’s pricier 4GEE Max plans and its availability is a lot more limited, but you’ll have access to it in many major cities, such as London, Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester.

As with double speed, there’s no symbol to show 4G+ is working, you’ll just notice that everything seems faster.

What phones work with double speed and 4G+?

Basically any EE handset that works with normal 4G will also work with double speed 4G. That accounts for the vast majority of smartphones.

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As for 4G+, that’s a bit more limited as you’ll need a phone that supports LTE-A. The good news is that accounts for a large and ever-growing number of handsets, including most recent flagships, such as the iPhone X, Samsung Galaxy S8 and Sony Xperia XZ1.

You may like to read also : What is 4G ? An Easy to Follow Guide

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