Just when you thought the U.K. news cycle was all about the prospective merger of Vodafone and Three, EE has revealed its most advanced home fiber product.
Today, EE has announced that it will provide a Full-Fiber home broadband service from this summer, with speeds of 1.6GBPS, the fastest for coverage across the U.K., the company says. There are some smaller operations in London which match or beat this, but EE’s service is nationwide and will be available to around 10.5 million homes. Rival Virgin Media has a Gig1 service which is also fast, but clocks in at about 1.13GBPS.
EE and BT, the traditional landline provider, are part of the same company and EE will take over as the main consumer brand, with the BT brand continuing for business. This is an intriguing development in itself and could be because EE is seen as being innovative—it introduced the first 5G network in the UK in 2019, for instance. The company says that EE is the brand that will see all the new and innovative stuff from now on and it’s now its “flagship brand for consumers”.
EE says that compared to the previous Superfast Fiber offered by BT, the new average speeds are 44 times faster. This is some of the fastest internet access in the world, by the way.
The EE router is called Smart Hub Plus. The router has been built to be capable of accessing these speeds. Its outer casing is made from up to 95% recycled plastics and will offer advanced features such as the capability to prioritize how the bandwidth is used. So, your important Zoom call won’t suddenly become indecipherable because Junior is playing a video game in the bedroom at the same time.
Similarly, you can set it so that playing Fortnite takes precedence over everything else. It’ll also be possible to block websites, or limit access. Parental controls are also advanced.
Where router settings were routinely hard to configure and looked ugly, the wifi controls on the Smart Hub Plus are via a simple to control smartphone app. That’s down to the hub working with a bespoke firmware platform from EE. You don’t need to be an EE subscriber for your cellphone to use the clever new app.
The new hardware looks cool and is designed by Tej Chauhan. There’s also a second piece of kit, the Smart WiFi Plus which extends the signal to ensure full-home coverage. And there’s the Smart Hybrid Connect, which provides back-up via the EE cellphone network if the landline broadband fails for some reason, so fast connection is continuous, even if the cellphone alternative can’t match 1.6GBPS.
There’s no mention of pricing yet, though the current 900MBPS service costs $69 a month (£55) and it’s likely the new service will cost between $75 and $82 (£60 to £65) a month.
Read the full article here