Vodafone has announced the official details of its 4G roll-out. Available before the end of the month to Vodafone customers, 12 cities in all will be covered by the network’s super-fast speeds by the end of the year, with the network promising average mobile download speeds from the new service to be at least 6 times as fast as that of a standard 3G connection.
The roll-out of the 4G services will begin in London on August 29, and will be followed by the end of the year with Birmingham, Bradford, Coventry, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield all getting coverage.
Vodafone intend to make indoor 4G coverage available to 98% of the UK population by 2015, an endeavour which will cost the network £900 million this year alone.
Prices start at £26 a month, with contracts including a pair of attractive freebies to entice customers away from 4G rivals O2 and EE. Customers will be able to chose between 150 hours of Premier League football with Sky Sports mobile, or access to a premium Spotify music streaming account. All 4G customers will also benefit from unlimited data during the first three months of their contracts.
“With 4G, speed is just the start; it’s what you do with it that really matters,” said Guy Laurence, CEO of Vodafone UK
“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.”
4G contract prices, SIM-only deals and dongles
The Vodafone Red 4G handset contracts start at £34 a month on 24 month plans, with a wide range of 4G-ready handsets available to grab. 12 month deals are also available, but are considerably pricier, starting at £52 a month.
By far the cheapest way to get access to Vodafone’s 4G network on your mobile is to nab one of the network’s SIM-only deals, starting at just £26 a month on a 12 month contract, with various options available to allow for more minutes and data.
Vodafone will also be offering 4G-enabled tablet deals. Samsung’s 8-inch Galaxy Tab 3 will be available at for £31 a month with 4GB of data or £36 a month with 10GB. Sony’s Xperia Tablet Z will also be on offer, available for £37 per month with 4GB of data or for £42 per month with 10GB of data.
Existing Vodafone Red customers that already have a 4G-ready phone will be able to upgrade their existing contracts to 4G for just an extra £5 a month, and will also be able to enjoy the Premier League or Spotify freebies.
Finally, Vodafone will also be offering 4G dongle deals, with the the Vodafone K5006 on sale for an up-front cost of £29 on a 12 month plan at £20 per month that comes with 4GB of data. Alternatively, you can grab the dongle for an up-front cost of just £9 on a 12 month plan costing £30 per month that comes with 10GB of data. 30 day deals are also available, as are SIM-only plans for those who already have a 4G-ready dongle. Note however that the Sky Sports and Spotify offers are not included with tablet, dongle or mobile Wi-Fi plans.