updated 06:24 am EDT, Thu May 22, 2014
Wi-Fi hotspots, Android tablet offered with 4G connectivity
British carrier EE, formerly Everything Everywhere and formed by the joining of Orange and T-Mobile, has started to extend its 4G (LTE) service to smaller towns in the country, as well as introducing new devices. It has completed its second phase of the roll-out, bringing the high-speed cellular network to 2,588 villages and small towns with populations under 10,000 people in the United Kingdom, including regions with as few as 65 residents.
The company has also managed to extend coverage to include various transportation routes, including 47 major train stations, 22 airports, as well as on 50 of the busiest motorways and A-roads. Currently, the carrier's 4G service covers more than 70 percent of the UK population, while its 2G and 3G connections cover 99 percent and 98 percent respectively.
EE has also launched four 4G devices that will take advantage of its LTE network, with the network taking the device names from birds of prey. The Buzzard is billed as an in-car Wi-Fi hotspot that sits in a cup holder and uses a 12v connection, priced at £50 ($85) off-contract. The Kite and Osprey are normal portable Wi-Fi hotspots, with the Kite offering a premium finish for £70 ($118), while the Osprey opts for a "colorful and rugged" finish for £50 ($85).
EE Eagle 4G tablet
Lastly, the Eagle is EE's tablet with a built-in 4G connection. Priced at £199 ($336) prepaid or with an installment plan, the Eagle is in fact a rebranded Huawei MediaPad M1, complete with an eight-inch 1280x800 display, a quad-core 1.6GHz processor, and a rear five-megapixel camera.