Vodafone to lure customers onto new 4G service with sport and music services

Vodafone has announced it will be launching its high speed 4G service on the same day as rival O2 on 29 August.

The operator will be looking to get the edge on its rival by offering 150 hours of Premier League football from Sky Sports or music from online streaming service Spotify Premium – as well as unlimited data for three months for customers switching over.

Prices for the Vodafone 4G service will start at £26 per month, in line with rivals. It will only be available in London at its launch, but will be rolled out in Birmingham, Bradford, Coventry, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield by the end of the year.

All of the 4G providers will need to work extra hard to ensure they show customers why they would want to use a 4G service, after a report by mobile regulator Ofcom released earlier this week showed 70 per cent of respondents have no plans to upgrade to 4G when their current contract expires and 22 per cent would never sign up to 4G, despite owning a smartphone.

Chief executive of Vodafone UK Guy Laurence thinks his company is offering that extra something:

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.

EE offered the service last October, so this will inject a healthy dose of competition into the market. It is hoped that 4G coverage will cover 98 per cent of the UK population indoors and more outdoors. Both EE and Vodafone have purchased bands in the 2.6GHz range as well as the 800MHz part of the radio spectrum. O2 only bought bands in the lower range.