In the UK the 5G wars are heating up. EE, Vodafone, O2 and Three have now laid out their plans for 5G. Vodafone and EE have already turned their 5G networks on in select cities in the UK. Three and O2 have now released the details of some of their 5G Plans.
We contacted all four of the providers in regards to their 5G plans with an emphasis on how Stadia would be used on their network. Vodafone, O2 and Three answered our questions but we are still waiting to hear back for EE.
When using Stadia no matter what device the biggest question is about data cap. Two of the providers are offering no data cap in Vodafone and Three. EE and O2 have data caps with EE have up 80GB and O2 for 4G have a plan which goes up to 100GB. On their 5G plans O2 came back to us with this quote
“We will be announcing details of our 5G propositions and 5G service offering at launch in October. As you would expect these will be customer led and competitive. “
Fair Use Policy
Another common policy when access data networks is the so called Fair Use Policy. For Stadia for users parts of this policy may slow down users who download a lot of data. O2 has a fair use policy which you can see here. It does not say if you download a lot of data they will slow you down. When asked about fair use policy Three gave us the statement
” There will be no fair usage. Because of Three’s spectrum it can do this. “
For Vodafone their statement was
“There are no usage restrictions on any of our Unlimited plans in the UK, unless someone is abusing the system. Examples would include sending bulk or spam texts, installing a gateway or SIM box to send automated messages or illegal content-sharing. “
5G won’t be available everywhere at once and will roll out further over time. Each provider is starting in different areas.
Price is an important factor in choosing a network. We will just compare the unlimited packages or the highest data package available on a 12 month sim only contract. as of 1st August 2019.
EE – 80 GB – £27
O2 – 100 GB – £30
Three – Unlimited – £20
Vodafone – Unlimited – £30
Note Vodafone has recommended that Stadia users get their Ultimate Max plan.
“Unlimited Max would be the best possible choice for any demanding game streaming service. We did notice that Stadia’s minimum system requirements call for a 10mbps connection; Unlimited has a maximum download speed of 10mbps. “
For O2 and EE for gaming on Stadia I don’t think any of their packages would suit long gaming sessions on the go. They may adapt their prices in the weeks and months to come but at the moment there 5G offerings do not look enticing to potential Stadia customers.
So that leaves the choice between Vodafone and Three. Depending on your network coverage that may just give you the option of one in the short term. So that makes the choice clear. If you have a choice between the two I feel Three is the better option. This is due to price and having the largest spectrum available for 5G which could be more important as more people get onto the 5G network.
EE came back to us on 5th August with this statement
“Sorry for the delay with this. Although we don’t currently have an unlimited data plan we do have a variety of swappable benefits with data passes and large data available on our smart plans which launched a few weeks ago,
EE is the only UK mobile network to have signed official unlimited data deals with BBC iPlayer and YouTube, which follow extensive customer feedback since the launch of the new plans.
The two new additions join an already impressive selection of video providers included with the EE Video Data Pass: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BT Sport, TV Player and MTV Play.
Swappable Benefits, available to all pay monthly customers, allow users to choose the perks that best suit them at the start of their plan and then swap them whenever their needs change.
Other available benefits include an EE Music Data Pass, free access to the BT Sport app and Roam Further. 5G customers can also choose from an HD HDR version of the BT Sport app for free and a Gamer’s Data Pass (available from August).
Other free perks available to Smart Plan customers include Anytime Upgrade and an extended device warranty for the lifetime of the customer’s contract.
More information about the Smart Plans can be found here, but do let us know if you have any questions.”