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: