The UK's LTE adoption story has been dominated by EE so far — with the upstart network exploiting some spare spectrum to launch its 4G service ahead of the competition — but now Three has stepped up with a major pledge that will make smartphone buyers think twice. Three has just announced that it'll not charge a price premium for LTE connectivity on its smartphone price plans — that is to say, whatever you're paying for 3G today will be the same you pay tomorrow, only with the delicious prospect of LTE thrown in. The internet-centric mobile carrier doesn't have any firmer details on when that tomorrow may come, other than to say "later this year." Here's CEO Dave Dyson's explanation for today's announcement:
"As we add the next wave of technology to our Ultrafast network, we’ve listened to our customers and thought long and hard about the right way to do it. We don’t want to limit Ultrafast services to a select few based on a premium price and we’ve decided our customers will get this service as standard."
Given how steep EE's LTE pricing has been so far, Three's promise to keep prices unchanged while upgrading its service dramatically is truly a mouthwatering one. Three is already consistently cheaper than the other major networks, and if it can indeed step up to LTE without adding anything to its subscribers' bills, today's decision should provide the catalyst for a long-overdue price war among UK carriers.