Apple has confirmed that the newly-announced iPhone 5, which features LTE, will be available via EE, the UK's first 4G network. Announced yesterday, EE is a rebrand of Everything Everywhere, a joint venture between Deutsche Telekom and France Télécom — its network had been turned on in testing mode in London, Birmingham, Cardiff, and Bristol, and the company has plans to expand to at least 11 further cities before the end of the year.

The presence of the iPhone 5 will consolidate EE's existing head start over rivals such as O2 and Vodafone, which lack the capacity to launch 4G networks of their own until after a much-delayed spectrum auction, not expected to begin in earnest until 2013. While regulator Ofcom claimed that EE would not gain a significant market advantage when it approved the launch of the new network last month, competitors may now see things somewhat differently.