Vodafone splashes out on sport content for new 4G customers

VODAFONE became the latest of the big name mobile networks to announce the launch of 4G data services yesterday.

Chief executive Guy Laurence confirmed that the switch-on for high-speed data content would begin in London on 29 August, with 12 cities to be 4G-ready before Christmas.

He also revealed a deal with Spotify and Sky Sports to give customers extra content on their mobile phones, which the firm hopes will kick start the network’s 4G offering.

Vodafone is launching the service almost a year later than its rival EE and will charge £5 more per month than EE’s basic tariff. Rival network O2 outlined its plans for launch last week.

Laurence told reporters that he “did not care” what rival companies would do with their 4G services, as he felt that the entertainment deals would give Vodafone an edge over competitors.

The mobile giant has said that it is investing £900m before the end of the year in its 4G network along with the £802m it spent in obtaining the capacity to transmit on both low and high frequency waves.

When fully operational in 2015 this will give the firm the broadest spectrum of frequencies in the UK and coverage for 98 per cent of the population.

•UK broadband speeds rose a whopping 22 per cent in the six months to May, though rural households are falling further behind urban centres, regulator Ofcom revealed yesterday. The average residential broadband connection now runs at 14.7Mbit/s, though this drops to 9.9Mbit/s outside densely populated areas.