Troubled EE Network Launches SIM Only Tariffs

by Dale Wright

After a shaky launch, EE is finally providing its SIM-only tariffs today – a full three weeks after launch. However, some smartphone and tablet users have already left the network, and others are experiencing problems with their new phones.

Some users have signed up to EE only to find that they have no service, so they cannot activate the SIM card they’ve been sent. Even if users are activated, some people then find that their data access is limited because their account hasn’t been properly set up. They’re therefore unable to use the internet at all.

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EE had problems when the network first launched. It ran out of SIM cards and sent some users SIMs for Orange or T-Mobile by accident. Although EE owns both brands, neither can provide 4G access.
The network has also been criticised for imposing harsh download limits; their cheapest £21-per-month plan limits users to just 500 MB of data.

The BBC has also dealt EE another blow. With the help of RootMetrics, the broadcaster measured EE’s coverage around Manchester, one of the cities EE has included in its 4G launch. The team were only able to connect at 4G speeds at around 40 percent of the locations they tried. As soon as the test team left the urban area and headed into the suburbs, there was no 4G connection at all.

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However, it’s not all bad. The average connection speed was 7.6Mbps across all test locations. As a comparison, Vodafone offers a connection speed of 3.1Mbps, so the connection is genuinely faster overall, even if coverage isn’t great. RootMetrics pointed out that indoor 4G speeds are actually very good.
EE says it’s working hard to resolve customer problems. Perhaps the real issue is whether its customers are getting the speeds and coverage they expected when they signed up.