New 4G services to launch later this month7th August 2013
Mobile giant Vodafone has announced plans to roll out it’s 4G service on 29th August, following an investment of £900 million into the project. Rival firm o2 (owned by Spain’s Telefónica), announced plans to launch their own 4G service on the same day of this month just last week.
These will be the first two services to rival the initial service that was launched by EE in October last year, after they found spare spectrum capacity and were allowed to gain a head start on their competition.
It is believed that the launch of the two new services will be great for consumers, as it should drive down prices of 4G packages, as well as give a far wider choice of features. Vodafone and o2 have both announced details of their bottom rate plans, which aim to be competitive with what EE – which has been heavily criticised as overpriced – is offering as their basic 4G deal. However, o2 have said their service won’t initially be available on the iPhone 5, which is likely to have a devastatingly negative effect on the amount of 4G subscribers they sign up.
Vodafone plans to launch the service in London only to begin with, before expanding to 12 other cities (including Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield) by the end of 2013. o2 meanwhile is starting off in London, Leeds and Bradford. EE currently covers 95 UK towns and cities, with the nationwide rollout still ongoing.
Another service provider – Hutchison 3G (Three) – is aiming to launch a 4th service offering 4G later this year, with free upgrades to existing 3G customers. Three will also be the only provider that provides unlimited data, as all other providers will be capping their data usage – with Vodafone’s at 8gb a month (although it is offering unlimited data for the first 3 months of any 4G contract.)
Providers seem to be taking huge steps into integrating mobile content into the deals they offer, with Vodafone signing deals with Spotify and Sky Sports, and o2 offering a big juicy carrot of 12 months free music content for anyone that signs to their £26 a month lowest rate offering.