To access the new super-fast networks, you need a 4G phone and a 4G mobile plan. That’s where 4G upgrades come in. A 4G upgrade is the way to upgrade your existing mobile plan or phone to begin enjoying 4G, while keeping your existing mobile number. You can only upgrade if you are on a monthly price plan; you cannot upgrade from pay as you go, but you can take out a new 4G plan. Additionally, you can only upgrade to the same network. Orange and T-Mobile customers are the exception in this case, as EE now owns Orange and T-Mobile.
When can i upgrade?
As a general rule, you can upgrade between 30 and 45 days before the end of your existing plan. However, situations often change based on individual circumstances, so it’s always worth checking with your operator first.
What if my contract has months to go?
If you still have a long time left on your contract – and are not on T-Mobile or Orange – you have a couple of choices:
- Firstly, you can choose to buy out your existing contract from your current provider and upgrade to a shiny new 4G phone and plan.
- Secondly, you could buy a new 4G smartphone SIM-free – or on pay as you go – and pop in your existing 4G SIM. Your operator may need to send you a new SIM (read more below).
I already have a 4G-ready phone
If you already have a 4G-ready phone, you have the option of upgrading your existing 3G plan to a new 4G plan. The situation is different with each operator:
- Orange and T-Mobile customers on 3G contracts can upgrade to 4G on EE. You will be able to choose any EE plan, provided the monthly fee is not lower than the plan you have at the moment. There may be a cost for the new 4G phone. The actual cost depends on your existing monthly tariff and length of time on your existing contract.
- O2 customers with more than 1GB of data included in their existing plan can be upgraded to 4G for free. Those with less than 1GB of data can upgrade to 4G for just £5 a month.
- Three has automatically upgraded all of its customers to 4G at no extra cost.
- Vodafone customers with a 4G-ready phone on a Vodafone Red plan can upgrade to 4G for £5 extra a month. Customers on other plans can also upgrade, but you will incur a higher cost.
How much To upgrade?
It usually costs nothing to upgrade your contract but there could be a cost to upgrade to a new smartphone. Any additional cost for the new handset will be calculated by the operator. The more the handset costs, the more possible some charge will apply. The actual cost, if any, is based on the length of time you have had your existing phone contract and on how much you currently spend per month.
Will i need a new sim card?
There are three types of SIM card: standard, micro and nano. There is also a multi-fit SIM that can be used as a standard or micro-SIM. In most cases, customers find they can continue to use their existing SIM card by simply transferring it to the new phone.
What do i do next?
Contact your mobile phone operator or retailer to find out more about your position with regards to a 4G upgrade.