Earlier this week, word got out that Vodafone was planning its 4G roll out to coincide with O2's own LTE launch. What's more, word on the street was that Vodafone would reveal its intentions this week. Well, Vodafone certainly hasn't disappointed. The company on Wednesday revealed plans to launch its 4G LTE network on August 29.
Vodafone announced the news in a blog post today. The company said it will start offerings its 4G-ready 'Vodafone Red' plans from August 12. If you already have a 4G-ready phone, you can get a SIM-only plan from £26 per month. You can also hop on contract (24 months) and get a 4G phone with a contract from £34 per month. Users will also get Sky Sports or Spotify Premium included in their plan as a bonus.
LTE will roll out in London first (on August 29) while additional roll outs in Birmingham, Bradford, Coventry, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Nottingham, and Sheffield are scheduled for 'before the end of the year.' The company is planning 4G coverage for 98 percent of the UK popular 'over the next couple of years.'
While the news does mean that Vodafone will launch on the same day as O2, it's not as big a roll out as the one O2 has promised. The carrier last week revealed that it will be serving up to five million people at launch thanks to simultaneous roll-outs in London, Leeds and Bradford. O2 hopes to make it to 13 cities by the end of the year.
The good news is that this will bring some much needed competition to the UK's 4G market. Up until now, it's been EE all on its lonesome (not that they've minded). The company has had its network up and running since last autumn after receiving special permission to repurpose some of its existing spectrum for 4G.