- Best coverage & fastest data speeds with 29 MB/S on 4G
- BT Sport App & Apple Music Subscriptions included free
- Discounted shared plans & data-gifting
- Generally pricier than many of the other UK networks
- Limited loyalty perks
- Data rollover only on some PAYG deals
Half Cooked’s overall rating for EE: (4.5 / 5)Summary EE has the best coverage in the UK with 99% population coverage with a commitment to constantly improve. On top of this, EE leaves its competitors behind with the fastest network speeds in the market – but this comes at the cost of being one of the pricier options available. With Wi-Fi calling, customer offers such as free access to BT Sport & Apple Music as well as unlimited tethering, EE has you covered on all bases. Click here to go direct to EE’s website and see their latest SIM offers. Skip to the Half Cooked breakdown to find out how EE performed in each of our main categories by clicking here Otherwise read on for our full review or skip to a specific section by choosing from the table of contents below.
Table of Contents
Network Coverage & Data Speeds (5 / 5)EE is one of the 4 larger MNO’s (Mobile Network Operators) in the UK alongside Three, O2 & Vodafone but out of the four, EE really get their fundamentals right with great coverage and speeds. EE’s network coverage is the best in the market with 99% population coverage for 4G and they have committed to 95% geographical coverage by 2020. They are constantly leading the way with rolling out additional 4G network with Root Metrics giving them the award for best network coverage for 5 years running. It isn’t just with coverage that EE performs well, they also offer the fastest 4G speeds in the market. According to Open Signal’s 2018 testing, EE leads the way with average data speeds of 29 MB/s with their closest rival Three at 23 MB/s.
Voice Call Quality (5 / 5)EE provides 2G, 3G and 4G coverage to its customers and with its investment into 4G calling you can take comfort knowing you will get great call quality on the EE network. Looking at P3’s recent tests, EE performed ahead of its competitors (Vodafone, Three & O2) for voice call quality. They were ahead of the pack due to their audio quality & connection times supported by their seamless switching between 4G calling & Wi-Fi calling. With the continued investment into their 4G network this is only expected to improve. The only thing to note is that to have access to 4G calling you need to be a pay monthly customer and you won’t receive this benefit on PAYG.
Tethering (5 / 5)Mobile devices can be turned into mini Wi-Fi hotspots to connect other mobile devices to the internet. This is called tethering. Tethering is sometimes limited by networks as it leads to heavy data usage and reduces the network space, slowing it down. EE with their continual investment in expanding their network do not limit tethering on any plans. So, you don’t need to worry, as a pay-monthly or PAYG customer you can be assured if you ever need to tether your mobile to use another Wi-Fi enabled device such as a tablet or laptop, you can do. You should note that tethering will lead to your data allowance being run down a lot faster and that you should be aware of any extra charges you could incur by going out of plan.
International Roaming (4 / 5)EE’s roaming package is one of the better offers in the market but not the best – that’s Three’s ‘Go Roam’ proposition which provides much better value for money to customers. With the EU roaming regulation changes that came into effect in the summer of 2017, all UK network’s must now provide EU destinations inclusive of customers plans. This means 48 roaming destinations are included free of charge to EE customers. EE however takes this one step further and provides an additional 5 roaming destinations to its customers which are Australia, USA, Mexico, Canada & New Zealand – however with the caveat that these are only for customers on the 4GEE Max plans (These are premium plans).
Wi-Fi Calling & Wi-Fi Hotspots (3 / 5)Wi-Fi calling allows customers to place calls and send texts using wireless networks instead of using their 3G/4G network. This is a great perk if you are somewhere without mobile connection but have access to Wi-Fi. EE has a good proposition that works well for Wi-Fi calling. However you will need to have a compatible device and you will need to be on a pay monthly plan as this is currently not offered as a perk to PAYG customers. Wi-Fi hotspots are limited to only Virgin Wi-Fi on the London underground, this provides EE customers with free Wi-Fi at over 250 stations to keep you connected. Even though EE is now owned by BT, customers don’t get access to the 5 million plus hotspots in the UK that BT has.
Data Rollover (2 / 5)Data rollover means you can roll your unused data from one month to the next. For e.g. if you have a 2GB plan and only use 1GB the following month you will have 3GB as the extra 1GB would be rolled over. Data rollover is limited on EE with it only being offered to PAYG customers. If you have leftover data at the end of the month, EE will allow you 30 days to use up the data but after this time the data will be lost. This is limited compared to some of the other data rollover plans on the market with SMARTY offering customers money off their plans for unused data.
Multi Buy Discounts / Family Plans (4 / 5)Some networks are now offering customers discounts on any additional SIM or phone contract purchases they make to incentivise people to sign up their family & friends. EE have now started offering customers discounts on any additional plans they purchase through their account. This means you can add an additional phone, SIM, or broadband deal to your account and receive a 10% discount. ‘Data Gifting’ is another option now available to customers with multiple plans on a single account. This gives customers to ability to move data between their different plan i.e. if you run out of data on your tablet you can transfer some from your phone’s plan. This is a great option for families to reduce the number of out of plan costs you get hit with.
Customer Rewards (2 / 5)Some networks are now offering customer perks to differentiate themselves from their competitors to help them attract or keep customers. We found EE limited in this regard, with no regular perks such as free drinks/meals and discounts at popular retailers. This is common with O2 Priority and Three’s Wuntu app. However, if you are an EE customer and didn’t receive free access to the BT Sport & Apple Music Apps this is something you can take advantage of. EE also offers customers who sign up for a mobile broadband plan an additional 5GB of data allowance.
Other Perks (4 / 5)With the mobile market becoming increasingly saturated, some of these operators are trying to differentiate themselves by offering other perks. Inclusive entertainment subscriptions are one perk offered by some of the networks and EE performs well here. With inclusive access to the BT Sport & Apple Music apps for all pay monthly customers, EE offers a perk that saves customers on two premium subscription services. However, there is a downside, you wont find these included for the entire length of the contract. Apple Music is only available for 6 months and the BT Sport App for only 3 months. After this, unless you cancel these offers you will have to pay for them. In terms of free data streaming, EE offers unlimited free streaming on Apple Music which means you’ll never have to worry about running out of data listening to your favourite songs. Despite this, Three has a stronger offer with ‘Go Binge’ offering customers free data usage on a number of different applications including Netflix & Snapchat.
Sim Deals & Phone ContractsEE currently has 7 different SIM only deals available to customers which are all 12 month contracts. These all have unlimited minutes and texts and range in price from £11 a month to £35 a month. Data allowances start at 250mb for £11 a month and you can get up to 40GB for £35 a month. In terms of handsets all EE deals are 24 months and they have a range of devices from low end all the way to the latest flagship models from your popular brands such as Apple, Samsung & Huawei. EE has more expensive deals but they have the superior network, speeds and customer perks. EE’s PAYG deals are limited with no top up and go option with customers having to purchase a bundle of minutes, texts & data which last for 30 days. EE however do offer customers 500mb of additional data every 3 months for renewing their bundle. Click below to follow through to EE’s SIM only and Phone Contracts.
Half Cooked Overall Breakdown
Half Cooked’s overall rating for EE:
(4.5 / 5)
- Network Coverage and Speeds – With the best coverage and fastest speeds EE has you covered.
- Voice Call Quality – 4G calling means the fastest connection times and the top audio quality available in the market.
- Tethering – No limit to tethering on any of EE’s plans.
- International Roaming – One of the better schemes in the market with USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada & Mexico included on top of 48 EU destinations.
- Wi-Fi Calling & Wi-Fi Hotspots – Wi-Fi calling on enabled devices & London Underground Wi-Fi hotspots.
- Data Rollover – Only available to PAYG customers.
- Multi Buy Discounts/ Family Plans – 10% discount on any additional plans on your account and ‘data gifting’ gives you the option to transfer data between plans on your account.
- Customer Rewards – Limited customer rewards with 5GB additional data when signing up to a mobile broadband package on top of your phone deal.
- Other Perks – Free subscriptions to Apple Music & the BT Sport App as well as unlimited Apple Music streaming.