If you use a smartphone, tablet and laptop (which of course you do), EE has some interesting news this morning: it's just announced the UK's first multi-SIM contracts, due to launch on July 17th.
Basically, you can now run up to five devices off a single contract, and a single bill. Potentially very handy for device-wiedling gadgeteers and families alike, and something that our US chums have had on their networks for years.
How it works
It works roughly like this: the 'lead sharer' gets an EE contract at normal price, and can add more devices for a monthly fee. For a fiver a month you get a SIM to sling into your existing 3G or 4G tablet or dongle that piggybacks on your phone's data. For £12 a month (on a 12-month contract - it's £17 for 30 days) you get a SIM to slip into another phone.
You can also buy new devices from EE to tie into the same contract, which cost from £22/month for a phone, £11/month for a dongle or mobile Wi-Fi and £26/month for a tablet, all plus the usual device RRP, and shackled with a 24-month EE tie-in.
In case the lead sharer's contract doesn't provide quite enough data, you can add data bundles to your shared gadgets, too: it's £6 for 500MB, £15 for 2GB and £20 for 4GB. It's better value, though, to get a larger data bundle on the lead sharer's phone: £46/month for 24 months will net you 10GB of data under EE's summer promotion, which would leave ample bandwidth for your tablet and dongle.
EE reckons it'll work out cheaper for customers to share contracts, citing a £900/year saving for a family of four. But it also offers PAYG SIM-only plans for tablets and dongles that cost £15/month and include 2GB of bundled data, which is the same cost as a 2GB data bundle on a shared contract. So, if you you already have a 4G phone contract that leaves you a bit short of the data you need for your tablet too, the PAYG option will save you the additional fiver a month you'd need to spend on the sharer SIM for your tablet.
That said, with a separate PAYG SIM you'd miss out on a neat benefit of the multi-SIM contract offering: should an unruly child you've shared your plan with add data to a device for their own using, you'll be immediately notified via text.
Double-speed is go
EE's promised double-speed 4G rolls out tomorrow (July 4th), promising theoretical download speeds of up to 150Mbps and real-life averages of 24-30Mbps.
The first UK metropolises to benefit will be Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Derby, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Nottingham and Sheffield. Apologies, Andover. Sorry, Salisbury.
According to EE's CEO Olaf Swantee, citing Root Metrics data, the double-speed network is faster than the best offerings in the US and Europe, and on par with the quickest networks in South Korea. Go UK!