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EE Review 2022: Get the fastest 4G internet speeds and widest 5G coverage with the ‘UK’s largest Mobile Network’

Read our extensive EE Review to learn all you need to know about EE’s SIM only plans, network coverage, phone deals, and more!

Latest Offer: 160GB of data for just £20 a month!

EE’s best selling plan is a 5G ready 160GB data plan with unlimited texts & minutes for just £20. It’s a 24-month basic plan. It may not contain any extras, but you’ll be getting the most 4G and 5G coverage, as well as the fastest 4G data speeds in the UK!

This deal comes with 6 months of free Apple Music, and 3 months of BT Sport.

What is EE?

EE was formed back in 2010 as a joint venture between T-Mobile and Orange under the name of Everything Everywhere. The company launched its 4G mobile service in 2012 and the summer of the same year changed its name to EE. The network was acquired by BT in January 2016 and it still is a division of BT Group.

EE is the largest network operator in the UK. The carrier provides 99% population coverage and over 95% landmass coverage on 2G, 3G & 4G. EE 5G is also live and available in 160 cities and towns. Multiple independent testing bodies such as OOKLA, Opensignal, and umlaut have selected EE as the best overall network in the UK for the last couple of years.

Objectively, EE has the best 4G and 5G coverage, also highest quality on voice calls, fastest internet speeds, decent international roaming options, rich rewards thanks to BT and there are some core features you won’t find in most other network providers. However, all these advantages make EE a costlier option.

Pro's

  • Best 4G coverage & competitive 5G coverage in the UK
  • Fastest 4G and 5G data speeds
  • Wide range of SIM only deals
  • Wide range of phone deals
  • Decent rewards and long trials for valuable add-ons

Con's

  • Significantly costlier than competitors
  • Not the best for international roaming or calling
  • No 5G coverage on contract-free plans

Network Coverage & Speeds

EE 4G Coverage

Network coverage and internet speeds are EE’s strengths. The network is unrivaled in these two main categories. EE’s 2G, 3G, and 4G population coverage is over 99% and its landmass coverage has reached beyond 95%. While all the UK based carriers offer 99% population coverage nowadays, EE’s landmass coverage is still head and shoulders above when compared to other major networks. Not to mention the UK’s new emergency services network is built on EE’s 4G network.

We strongly recommend you check out EE’s coverage in your area before you order a SIM or a handset from the provider. We stand by our words, EE has the best coverage hands down but your frequent areas might be in one of EE’s blind spots. Better safe than sorry!

If you wish to learn more about which networks offer the best 4G download & upload speeds, and network coverage – check out our detailed 4G Networks in the UK guide.

EE 4G Speeds

All EE plans, even the most wallet-friendly ones, benefit from unrestricted 4G internet speeds. EE also provides double-speed 4G, which is at around 80% population coverage and also 4G+ (LTE-Advanced) in most major cities and towns. On 4G+, customers may get as high as 90Mbps download speeds, but it usually doesn’t peak over 60 Mbps.

According to Open Signal’s September 2021 speed test results, EE is still the fastest mobile network in the UK. The carrier’s average 4G download speeds are around 44Mbps, while their average 4G upload speeds are around 10Mbps. The network’s 4G speeds are noticeably faster than Vodafone, Three, and O2’s.

These data speeds are more than enough to stream 4K videos on Netflix, Amazon & Youtube provided you get a stable connection.

EE 5G Coverage

EE is the first network to launch 5G in the UK. The network provider turned on the country’s first commercially available 5G signals back in May 2019 in six cities (London, Manchester, Birmingham, Cardiff, Belfast & Edinburgh), and now EE 5G is live in 160 cities and towns. While Three 5G is leading in this area with 300 cities and towns, EE’s 5G coverage per location is wider. Since 5G is only available in specific areas, we strongly recommend you to check EE’s network coverage map before you invest in 5G handsets or tariffs.

At the time of writing, the network’s 5G service is only available to pay monthly contract customers. This means EE’s no credit check SIM only deals such as their EE Flex Plans and Pay As You Go packs don’t have 5G.

EE 5G Speeds

EE 5G is the fastest in the UK according to Opensignal’s September 2021 5G Experience report. EE’s 5G download speeds are around 132Mbps, and their 5G upload speeds average around 13.8Mbps. While Opensignal ranks EE as the fastest 5G network in the UK, OOKLA’s report says Three is the fastest. In any case, both networks offer super-fast data speeds, you’ll be happy with what you get as long as you get 5G coverage where you are.

100Mbps is more than enough to stream multiple 4K videos without any issues, plus you can even share your internet with others without impacting usability. EE 5G is also a great option for online gaming, as you get low pings and reliable data speeds.

WiFi Calling and 4G Calling

EE customers can enjoy WiFi Calling and 4G Calling at no extra cost, provided both their SIM only plans and handsets support these features. These two call quality improving features are only available on EE’s pay monthly contract deals. EE’s commitment-free SIM deals (PAYG and Flex plans) don’t have WiFi Calling or 4G Calling.

With WiFi Calling you can call and text over WiFi anywhere in the UK, even if you get zero coverage from your carrier. Just make sure to turn on WiFi Calling on your device.

4G Calling is also known as VoLTE and it allows you to make calls over your network’s 4G service. 4G is far stronger than 3G in all areas, meaning you’ll get better coverage, your call quality will improve, many indoor blackspots will be eliminated, and you can use 4G data speeds even when you’re on a call.

Personal Hotspot

Tethering or turning your phone into a personal hotspot to share your mobile data with other compatible devices is included in your plan as part of your data allowance. Keep in mind that any device connected to your hotspot will use data out of your allowance. You may want to invest in an unlimited data plan if you’re planning to tether regularly.

We recommend turning tethering off on your phone when you’ve finished. Some apps continue using data in the background without you noticing. Turning off tethering when you’re not using it can help you avoid any extra charges.

EE Features

Smart Benefits and Add-Ons

Smart Benefits are special extras included in EE’s Smart and Full Works plans. These are free add-ons you can get on selected plans. Once you choose your Smart Benefit, you can enjoy it for the length of your contract. Most of these Smart Benefits are also available as standalone add-ons that can be added and removed from your plan at any time. EE regularly changes the list of available Smart Benefits and Add-ons. At the moment, Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, BT Sport Ultimate, and Roam Abroad Pass are available as Smart Benefits.

Once you purchase an eligible plan you can pick your Smart Benefit in the My EE app, or you can text “Pick” to 150.

Unlimited 5G Data Plans

The network offers truly unlimited data plans that come with unrestricted 5G data speeds as long as it’s for personal use. EE says their unlimited plans are uncapped and you can use as much data as you like, but that’s not the whole story. EE will consider usage above 600GB/month to be non-personal use. EE has the right to apply traffic management controls to de-prioritise your mobile traffic during busy periods. They may also move you to a business plan.

The carrier offers three different unlimited data deals. You can choose the 12-month contract that comes with no extras, or opt for a 24-month contract and get up to 3 Smart Benefits of your choice.

EE lets you gift data to others, even If you’re on an unlimited plan. You can gift up to 100GB of data (120GB if you’re on a 5G smart handset plan).

You may roam with unlimited data, but the network’s fair usage policy applies. You are given a 50GB data allowance and you’re not allowed to roam for more than 3 consecutive months.

Existing Customer Offers

If you’re already an existing EE customer and want to set up an EE Family Account, you can add another SIM plan to your account and save 10% every month. You may also add other lines to your account for personal use.

Family Mobile Plans

As stated above, EE allows you to turn your main account into a family account. You can bring family members onto your account and move spare data around, control other plans, and manage your bills. Plus, EE will give you 10% off every additional line you add, and a 1GB data boost!

Share Data With Family

EE pay monthly mobile, tablet or 4GEE WiFi customers can gift data to others on the family account (or personal additional lines). You can gift data in increments of 500MB. Business plans don’t have this feature. Data Gifts won’t be carried over month to month, all plans reset to their original allowance at the start of each month.

Student Discounts

EE offers a 20% student discount and 500MB of free data, every month. If you’re a student and want to grab an EE SIM only deal, just log in or register for a Student Beans account to get a student discount code. The discount code works with selected SIM deals.

The mobile network operator also proposes SIM deals with student discounts, don’t forget to check them out if you’re a student or a parent to one.

EE Data Boost

EE gives customers an extra 5GB or 20GB of data a month when they take up an eligible EE pay monthly phone plan or a 12-month SIM only plan combined with a broadband plan.

The more expensive your broadband plan is the more data you get. You can get an extra 5GB or 20GB a month. The boost usually starts within 30 days of activating your broadband plan.

Data Rollover

EE’s data rollover perk is only available to their contract-free customers. This means you can only benefit from this feature if you’re an EE Flex or PAYG customer. If you haven’t used all the data in your plan or data pack, you’ll get a second chance to use it, provided you continue your plan.

Half Cooked’s Overall Breakdown

EE leaves its competitors behind with the fastest network speeds and the best network coverage, but this comes at the cost of being one of the pricier networks on the market. EE has you covered on all bases if you’re willing to pay for it.

We give EE 4 and a half stars out of 5 and strongly recommend it, especially for mobile users who want the fastest 4G and 5G data speeds, as well as the best network coverage across 3G, 4G, and 5G. Smart Benefits, special discounts for students and family deals also add value to their plans, but they’re a bit situational.

EE Frequently Asked Questions

Does EE support 5G?

Yes, EE is the first network carrier in the UK to support 5G coverage and currently has the most locations covered. The UK’s largest mobile provider is continuously working on improving both its 4G and 5G network.

Does EE support 2G?

Yes, EE still supports 2G. EE still uses 2G for calls and texts as a backup option.

Does EE have 4G Calling?

Yes, EE provides 4G Calling on compatible devices bought from EE stores. However, PAYG and EE Flex plans are not included.

Does EE have Wi-Fi Calling?

Yes, it does. Just like 4G Calling, EE offers Wi-Fi Calling too. You need to be on a pay monthly plan and have a compatible device for it to work.

Is EE the fastest mobile network in the UK?

Yes, EE is the fastest mobile network in the UK. EE’s average 4G download speeds are over 40Mbps. With 4G double speed, you may even see peak download speeds around 60Mbps, and with 4G plus all the way up to 90Mbps. However, the average download speed lingers around 30Mbps to 60Mbps depending on your area. However, when it comes to 5G, Three is offering the fastest speeds at the moment.

Does EE work in the USA?

Yes, EE’s network works in the USA, but the country is not included in base inclusive roaming. You’ll need the ‘Further Roaming Pass’ add-on if you wish to use your allowance without any extra cost.

Does EE have an app?

Yes, EE does have an app and it’s called My EE. It’s a handy app and will improve your EE experience for sure.

What are Smart Benefits?

Smart Benefits are essentially just add-ons but with a fancy name. EE offers these add-ons for free on its Smart Plans and with an extra charge on its regular SIM only plans.

Can I add another phone to my EE plan?

Yes, you can. EE allows you to add additional SIMs to your account. You’ll get a 10% discount on additional lines.

Can I gift my data to someone else on EE?

Yes, but only if you and the other plan/s are under the same account. The main account can move extra data freely between all the plans.

Where can I use my inclusive roaming allowance on EE?

You can use your inclusive roaming allowance in Austria, Azores, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Canary Islands, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, French Guyana, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guadeloupe, Guernsey, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madeira, Malta, Martinique, Mayotte, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Reunion Islands, Romania, San Marino, Saint Martin (French), Saint Barthelemy, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Vatican City (Italy). If you have ‘Further Roaming Pass’ all of the above plus Australia, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, and the USA.

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Half Cooked’s overall rating for EE: