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MOBILE giant EE has been deliberately slowing down internet speeds while customers are abroad, an investigation by Channel 4 TV has found.
Earlier this year EE made a small but important change to its policies which means that customers on the cheapest tariffs were only offered “standard” internet speeds while abroad.
Top speeds are only available to customers who pay more.
Prices for these top plans vary but EE’s Max Plans costs £50 per month on a 24-month plan with Samsung Galaxy S8 handset with unlimited calls, texts and 8GB data.
While its “essential” plan starts at from just £15 per month.
But just how low are these “standard” speeds offered by the mobile giant?
Channel 4 TV programme Supershoppers – which is being broadcast on Thursday at 8pm – sent a team out to Spain to check them out.
On average it found EE offered speeds of up to 2 mega bites per second (mbs) – up to 40 times slower than Vodafone, which provided speeds of up to 82mps.
In fact, it would have taken 35 minutes for an EE customer to download the Facebook app to their handset.
While O2 offered up to 46mbs and Three 14mbs.
How to get the best mobile phone deal
USE a comparison website like Billmonitor which compares your previous bill to work out how much you’re actually using.
You’ll need to sign in using your details from your online mobile account.
It only works for customers of EE, O2, Tesco Mobile, Three and Vodafone.
Another similar comparison tool, MobilePhoneChecker has a similar feature to Billmonitor but it’s not as comprehensive.
Once you’ve found the best deal check Cashback websites like Quidco and TopCashback to find out if they can save you money.
Work out the total cost of the contract including the handset to see if it’s a good deal.
Supershoppers found that the EE Sim was connected to a local Orange network in Spain but when its team tested the local SIM the speeds were 30 times faster.
Since June last year, mobile firms have been obliged to let phone firms use their UK allowance of calls, data and texts.
These rules do not specificity anything about the speeds networks must offer.
EE updated its tariffs – to slow down speeds for customers on cheap tariffs while abroad – in February this year but it is now changing this rule.
An EE spokesperson said, “Since we launched Roam Like Home in 2017, we have had measures in place for some of our plans to assess the impact that this unprecedented increase in roaming traffic would have on our network, while still delivering a great roaming experience.
“We’ve always had plans in place to lift the speed limitations, and now all of our customers are able to enjoy the superfast speeds supported by our roaming partners abroad ahead of the summer holidays.”
Supershoppers tested SIM cards from o2, Vodafone, Three and EE at three different locations in Alilcante, Spain.
It also tested four Spanish SIM’s from Movistar, Vodafone ES, Orange and Yoigo in the same locations.
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