EE is launching three services to keep its mobile customers online, including when their monthly data allowances run out. The network will offer a free Stay Connected service as of 7July 2020, which will allow its pay-monthly customers to keep using the internet for free when they’ve used up their data allowances.
Its pay-as-you-go customers will be able to access 4G and WiFi calling services by mid-August.
EE customers who are NHS workers are to be prioritised for phone repairs and receive a 20% discount on their price plan, which they can extend to up to four family members or friends. This will be in addition to unlimited data, which is already on offer to NHS staff.
This news comes after EE announced that it will reintroduce roaming charges for UK customers using their mobile phones in EU countries from January 2022.
The Stay Connected service will automatically activate when EE’s pay-monthly users reach the end of their data allowance, enabling them to continue to connect to the internet via a data network at no additional cost.
According to EE, the data connection will be fast enough to send instant messages, email and use map services, all on the move.
The launch follows research conducted by EE that found that 61% of UK smartphone users view having access to mobile data on the move as essential. It found that 41% of smartphone owners often use up their data allowance before the end of the month, while 38% said they would miss instant messaging the most if they ran out of data.
Customers on Smart and Essential Pay Monthly handset plans, as well as those on SIM-only deals, will be able to access the new services.
Customers will still have the choice of a data add-on if they would like to continue with full speed data or they can receive additional data from someone on the same shared plan via data-gifting.
Available from 7th July across new Smart and Essential Pay Monthly handset plans and SIM only plans, EE’s Stay Connected service will appeal to the 41% of the public that use up their monthly data allowance before the end of the month on a regular basis.
4G and Wi-Fi calling
EE is providing pay-as-you-go customers, including those on its Flex plans, with 4G and Wi-Fi calling services, which will be rolled out in phases up to mid-August.
Once WiFi Calling is activated in a customer’s smartphone settings, they can make and receive calls automatically where they have a WiFi connection. Unlike some other WiFi solutions, WiFi Calling doesn’t require an app. Once activated, it’s automatic – allowing customers to dial as normal, whether that is in the basement, in a coffee shop or even on the London Underground. Calls and texts come out of their monthly allowance as normal and out-of-allowance calls will be charged at your standard rate.
EE is also rolling out 4G calling to customers with a compatible handset. With 4G Calling customers can take advantage of crystal clear HD Voice calls, and they are able to browse the web while on a phone call, whether that is checking a map, sending a WhatsApp, or browsing Instagram.
Unlike users of the Stay Connected service, 4G and Wi-Fi callers should expect the cost of calls and texts to be deducted from their monthly allowance. Out-of-allowance calls will be charged at a standard rate.
Long Term Perks for NHS workers
EE says that more than 300,000 NHS workers are already receiving unlimited data. Moving forward EE will offer customers that have used up their monthly allowance access to mobile data at no extra cost at a speed fast enough for instant messaging, web browsing and streaming music and video.
NHS workers new to EE or upgrading will also benefit from 20% off their monthly price plan with the option to extend this for to up four friends or family members.
NHS workers will also be offered priority mobile phone repairs, so if their phone breaks, EE will fast-track it to be fixed. Customers can do this by popping into an EE store, or a courier will be sent to collect their handset whether that’s at home or at work. Customers can also borrow a replacement phone from one of EE’s stores while the repair is taking place.
The new EE NHS offer is open for new registrations online from July 7th 2021, to all EE pay monthly customers who have a valid NHS email address or NHS photo ID. It is also available to NHS workers who have already signed-up to the existing unlimited data offer, and they will be enrolled onto the new offer automatically.
Marc Allera at BT said:
“We’re always looking for ways to offer our customers the best experience when using our award winning 4G and 5G networks.
That’s why we’re introducing ‘Stay Connected’ data in our new pay monthly plans, becoming the only major UK network to enable customers to stay connected at no extra cost when their monthly data allowance runs out, and enhancing our pay as you go service with 4G and WiFi Calling, so customers can make calls and send texts from more places in the UK than ever before.”
“We’re also expanding our NHS offer to continue to support the people who work so selflessly to help us all. One in five of the over 1.6 million NHS workers in the UK are currently benefitting from our existing NHS offer, and we want to carry on doing our bit to connect those who need it most.”