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Vodafone announces UK 4G plans, takes on EE and O2

Vodafone announces UK 4G plans, takes on EE and O2

Vodafone's 4G network is en route

Vodafone has taken the wraps of its UK 4G plans, announcing that its next-gen LTE network will be available in London from 29th August.

Prices will start from £26 per month for a SIM only 12 month contract while those requiring a 4G-ready handset with their contract can get one included for £36 per month and upwards.

Coverage will be expanded to 12 other cities before the end of the year with Birmingham, Bradford, Coventry, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield set to receive the update.

"With 4G, speed is just the start: it’s what you do with it that really matters. We are taking 4G into a new league by offering sport; and changing the tune with all the music you could want. 4G is finally worth getting and there’s plenty to look forward to…" said CEO of Vodafone UK, Guy Laurence.

The announcement comes just 5 days after O2 announced its plans for its 4G network. These start at the same £26 per month while coverage is slightly wider initially with the Leeds/Bradford conurbation receiving the service for the end of October launch. Its planned expansion covers the same cities and time frame as that of Vodafone.

The arrival will be almost exactly a year after EE - the combined force of T-Mobile and Orange - launched its 4G service. It was able to get a head start with its launch due to holding available spare frequencies that could be used for the service. All other providers had to wait for an Ofcom auction that happened earlier this year to receive a slice of the spectrum. EE's entry level SIM-only contract has since dropped to just £21 per month.

Vodafone's 4G network will run on the 2,600MHz frequency, which compares to the 1,800MHz of EE and 800Mhz of O2. The lower frequency of O2s network should be better for coverage but has a lower overall capacity, which could impact its performance in densely populated areas.

Perhaps more importantly, both new frequencies are unsupported by the iPhone 5, which is only compatible with the 1,800Mhz band. It is however likely that a new iPhone will have arrived in time for the launch of both networks.

The full list of Vodafone UK 4G contract plans is below:
Vodafone announces UK 4G plans, takes on EE and O2 Vodafone announces 4G plans

20 Comments

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SpAceman 7th August 2013, 13:31 Quote
Heh. Vodafone already have a 4G LTE network up and running here in New Zealand. In fact they have the only one until later this year.
Snips 7th August 2013, 13:57 Quote
Do we know which 4G handsets are compatible now rather than a launch gimmick?
rollo 7th August 2013, 14:26 Quote
Think theres only 8 ish Handsets that have 4g in the uk.

Iphone 5 on EE only as far as im aware.
SG4
sony exp z
blackberry q5 / z10
2 more from samsung the note 2 and the mini i think
+ lumia 925

Pretty much a list of High end devices.
Yslen 7th August 2013, 14:31 Quote
What's the point? Why do you need 4G speeds if you've got an 8GB data cap per month even on the most expensive contract? 4G will chew through that in no time at all, and if you're not reaching it, it's very unlikely you're doing anything that couldn't be done with 3G. Unlimited data is where it's at.
exceededgoku 7th August 2013, 15:08 Quote
I've used my data cap in less than half a day in Central London, had to go to an EE store and request further data. Luckily I had a nice guy who gave me 5GB for free but there's still no sight of an unlimited plan as of yet... Kinda pointless in my opinion, better off sticking to your 3.5G unlimited packages...
Tim S 7th August 2013, 15:33 Quote
Vodafone bought 1/3 of the 800MHz spectrum at the auction too, if I'm not mistaken? Their network should run on 800MHz and 2,600MHz frequencies.
sakzzz 7th August 2013, 16:17 Quote
Received a leaflet a few days back from Freeview: "4G is coming to your area .... Its frequency of 800Hz coincides with that of Freeview".. If you face TV picture quality issues contact us on ..."
Who in the right mind thought of coinciding two large scale used frquencies for different uses?
Pieface 7th August 2013, 16:32 Quote
Theres no point in going with Vodafone though. My signals been getting worse and worse with them year on year. Can't wait to move.
Spraduke 7th August 2013, 17:02 Quote
The missus works for a mast equipment installation company and Vodafone and O2 agreed a deal not that long ago that if they both have equipment on the same mast site that they would remove one (to cut down on costs and to simplify upgrades). I think Vodafone got the east of the country and O2 the west (or vice versa). Now theorteically this shouldn't affect coverage but would seem to cause some issues if they both own different bands for 4G. That said if only a O2 mast or Vodafone mast are present on a site then there are no plans to share these.
Snips 7th August 2013, 17:05 Quote
While I was in the states last week, I saw ads for Unlimited Talk, Text and 4G Data for $40 a month.

It would be nice to see that kind of offer coming over here.
thom804 7th August 2013, 17:50 Quote
Such a damn ripoff. Just another way for mobile firms to bleed customers after they got told to reduce their rates within the EU.
Harlequin 7th August 2013, 18:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
Think theres only 8 ish Handsets that have 4g in the uk.

Iphone 5 on EE only as far as im aware.
SG4
sony exp z
blackberry q5 / z10
2 more from samsung the note 2 and the mini i think
+ lumia 925

Pretty much a list of High end devices.

HTC One ,8X, 8S, One SV , One XL

Experia SP , Exp Z Ultra

Huawei P1

SGS3LTE edition

lumia 820 + 920

blackberry Q10
Tim S 7th August 2013, 19:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spraduke
The missus works for a mast equipment installation company and Vodafone and O2 agreed a deal not that long ago that if they both have equipment on the same mast site that they would remove one (to cut down on costs and to simplify upgrades). I think Vodafone got the east of the country and O2 the west (or vice versa). Now theorteically this shouldn't affect coverage but would seem to cause some issues if they both own different bands for 4G. That said if only a O2 mast or Vodafone mast are present on a site then there are no plans to share these.

Both O2 and Vodafone bought a significant part of the 800MHz spectrum. Vodafone says on its site that it purchased 1/3 of all of the 800MHz spectrum that was on sale in the Ofcom auction.

Quote:
We spent a cool £790m in Ofcom's recent auction of radio frequency spectrum, and picked up a third of the crucial low frequency (800MHz), plus the higher-frequency spectrum to boost our existing network.

It all means that when we launch our ultra-fast 4G service later this year our 4G signal will be stronger and more reliable in the places you want to use it most. And we’ll bring our signal to a host of new areas through our commitment to 98% indoor coverage across the UK in the next few years.
SchizoFrog 8th August 2013, 08:10 Quote
As much as people in the know can complain and criticise the advantages and uses of 4G the simple fact is that many people have and are signing up to EE and in future others will be upgrading their future contracts with existing networks on their 4G contracts. Consumers are stupid and are desperate to spend the money on their credit cards. There is no logic when it comes to 'keeping up with the Jones'.
Timorous 8th August 2013, 11:15 Quote
I am currently on 3 with their One Plan which is pretty great. I might just happen to live in an area with a good signal but my average connection speed at home is around 10-15 Mbit/s. It is faster and more reliable than my ADSL connection so I tether all of the time. My GF has an HTC one on the same plan and that can get in excess of 20 Mbit/s.

Last month I used a paltry 55GB (down from my 70GB average). 3's 4G plan is to just roll it out and let any compatible phones use it with no extra charge. Of course they will probably be later to the market but with the speeds I get at home already I am not really bothered by that. For my phone (S3) I pay £31/month and for my GF's phone she pays £36/month which for what we get seems pretty good.
rollo 9th August 2013, 15:20 Quote
4g will take ages to really take off for the mass consumers only then will prices drop. Most people I know who are not tech inclined don't even know what 4g is let alone have a want for it.

Even those that do want it won't pay for extortionate prices that they are asking for it. Its basically a few major cities. When it gets to unlimited and works everywhere or close enough its uptake might prove.

Providers got burned with 3g in this country dou't we will see a huge 4g push like there was for 3G.
ModSquid 9th August 2013, 17:10 Quote
A couple of chaps I know have had 4G and their review of the battery life of their handsets is shocking. Apparently the phone tries constantly to access the 4G network in much the same way as the GSM/HSPA (?) search used to hammer the battery life of 3G phones. Understandable but frustrating nonetheless.

In addition, if you move through coverage areas halfway through a call, the call gets dropped as the phone reconnects to the faster network. Hence one of the guys has returned to 3G.
CrazyJoe 9th August 2013, 18:02 Quote
They all want to get out ahead of 3 who will be offering unlimited data for much cheaper, not sure why they haven't done it already.
Yslen 9th August 2013, 23:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timorous
I am currently on 3 with their One Plan which is pretty great. I might just happen to live in an area with a good signal but my average connection speed at home is around 10-15 Mbit/s. It is faster and more reliable than my ADSL connection so I tether all of the time. My GF has an HTC one on the same plan and that can get in excess of 20 Mbit/s.

Last month I used a paltry 55GB (down from my 70GB average). 3's 4G plan is to just roll it out and let any compatible phones use it with no extra charge. Of course they will probably be later to the market but with the speeds I get at home already I am not really bothered by that. For my phone (S3) I pay £31/month and for my GF's phone she pays £36/month which for what we get seems pretty good.

Yup, that's the way to do it.

I'm paying £23/m for the same contract without tethering, as I tend to stream to my phone anyway, and can connect an HDMI for larger screen viewing. Would be nice to have tethering for some big steam downloads, but it's not the end of the world.
MiNiMaL_FuSS 12th August 2013, 08:07 Quote
I just left Vodaphone after I got offered a good deal with 3, retentions phoned, I told them my 3 deal...they said they "couldn't get near it"

3 offered me the One Plan (usually £15 a month) for £10.00 a month - sim only.

I'm on unlimited everything, 4g + tethering (no fake cap or fair usage policy)
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