Vodafone UK announced the extension of 4G services to pay-as-you-go customers, in line with the one-year anniversary for its LTE services in the country.
The company’s statement came shortly after rival O2 UK trumpeted usage of its services, with both players having launched on the same day last year.
Vodafone is offering prepaid 4G prices starting at £20, with its “Freedom Freebee” offering 500 minutes of UK calls, unlimited UK texts and 2GB of UK data.
Customers opting for £30 and £40 packages get 4GB or 6GB of data, and these packages also come with content – either Spotify Premium or Sky Sports Mobile TV.
Vodafone said its network is now available in “over 300 cities and towns as well as thousands of smaller communities across the UK”.
This compares with the “over 240 towns and cities” O2 UK is claiming to cover, and the “263 major towns and cities and 2,500 villages and small towns” from EE – which had a significant headstart with its 4G rollout.
EE and O2 also cited population coverage figures – 75 per cent and “over 45 per cent” respectively. Vodafone did not use this metric.
Vodafone said that monthly customers on 4G plans, “on average”, use around three times more data than 3G customers. Of course, there is the fact that services are currently targeted at premium early adopters, who are more likely to be heavy data users anyway.
Vodafone also said that Spotify users listen to more than 20 hours of music each month.
And, following a number of reports of poor performance from Vodafone’s network, the company cited an independent analysis of Ookla Speedtest data, which it said “demonstrates Vodafone speeds are equivalent to EE’s across the board, and significantly faster in tests completed on a 4G site”.
Vodafone did not provide any further details on 4G subscriber numbers, other than stating it is “well over a million” – up from the 0.9 million cited in the latest Vodafone Group results release.