O2 and Vodafone have announced 4G plans for five more cities today: Birmingham, Coventry, Leicester, Nottingham and Sheffield.
O2’s 4G services go live across all these cities tomorrow (September 27), while Vodafone will launch its 4G services on Saturday September 28.
The two networks are steadily increasing coverage of their next gen mobile speeds which provides average speeds of roughly 16Mbps and top speeds of around 60Mbps, according to recent independent tests.
Read Recombu Digital’s guides to 4G and the 4G Spectrum AuctionO2 says that more than 9.5 million customers across eight cities are now using its 4G network and it’s investing £1.5 million a day in network improvements and rollout.
Ronan Dunne, CEO of O2 owners Telefónica UK said: “The full potential of 4G is as yet unexplored, but what we can be sure of is that it will allow for a whole new world of opportunity that people are now ready for.
“Over half of our customers say they use more data than two years ago, as can be seen by the 79 per cent increase in Coventry alone over the last 12 months. Given this trend, there is no doubt that 4G will transform our lives, be it as consumers, in business or through public sector services.”
While Vodafone is launching its services a few days later, customers will be able to sign up for bonuses such as free access to Spotify Premium or Sky Sports Mobile, as well as Vodafone’s 4GB ‘4GBonus’ scheme.
Mark Howe, Head of Post Pay Consumer, Vodafone UK, said: “With our Vodafone Red 4G-ready plans 4G finally has a purpose and now with the ‘4GBonus’ Vodafone ultrafast 4G is even more compelling.
“There are a number of hotly anticipated new devices coming out in the Autumn and with the ‘4GBonus’ there are even more reasons for customers to choose Ultrafast 4G from Vodafone.”
Vodafone hasn’t mentioned how many customers are using its 4G services so far, but like O2 it is committed to having 98 per cent of the UK population able to get 2G, 3G and 4G services by the end of 2014.
The networks have a mast-sharing agreement which means they’ll roll out 4G across the UK more or less in the same places at the same time.
Today EE announced 4G rollout in 12 further towns, bringing the total number of locations on its 4G network to 117. O2 and Vodafone will have 10 cities covered by their 4G networks by the end of 2013.