Vodafone has announced that it will be launching its 4G network on exactly the same day as rival O2, revealing a range of tariffs, benefits and milestones in a bid to outdo its fellow operator.
Although it has only promised a London launch on 29 August – compared to O2’s additional Leeds and Bradford – is says it will have 12 more cities live by the end of the year, where O2 pledged 10. After London, launches in Birmingham, Bradford, Coventry, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield are expected from Vodafone before the end of the year.
EE, O2 and Vodafone have all promised 4G coverage for 98 per cent of the UK population, with EE committing to the end of 2014, Vodafone to the end of 2015 and O2 not yet venturing a date. While O2 limited its detail on customer deals, Vodafone has fully outlined plans for its 24-month, 12-month and SIM-only 'Red 4G-ready' payment options.
All Vodafone Red 4G-ready plans come with either Sky Sports Mobile TV or Spotify Premium, plus unlimited calls and texts. They also have unlimited data for the first three months, followed by either 2GB, 4GB or 8GB per month – double the standard allowance on Vodafone's standard plans. Vodafone's 24-month plans start at £34 with a handset, while 12-month plans start at £52.
Anyone on a standard Vodafone Red contract that has a 4G-ready device can upgrade for £5 to get Spotify Premium or Sky Sports Mobile TV, double the amount of data and get 4G access. Customers who have a 4G-ready device can get SIM-only deals from £26 a month for 12 months, costing £3 more than EE’s lowest deal, while offering 2GB of data and the free perks for six months, before a charge is added to their plan.
Vodafone is also offering a range of 4G tablet plans, starting at £31 per month for the eight-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab 3, or the Sony Xperia Tablet Z at £37 per month.
Vodafone spent considerably more acquiring its spectrum than O2 - £802m compared to £550m - which it says is down to buying both low-frequency for going further and working better indoors, as well as high-frequency spectrum, giving it greater capacity in densely populated urban areas.
Written for Mobile Marketing Magazine and published here: http://www.mobilemarketingmagazine.com/content/vodafone%E2%80%99s-4g-showdown-o2-29-august#MvgpXmPybOxWLx7g.99