EE has had a significant head start in bringing blazing fast LTE speeds to the UK, all while other networks have promised a summer rollout. Vodafone may delay its LTE plans in the UK, however, to wait for the next iteration of the iPhone. The Telegraph believes that the network will delay the launch of its superfast network until August or September to fully capitalize on the iPhone 5S.
Vodafone originally planned to switch on the new high speed network in June, but the new plan is apparently to wait for the next version of the iPhone with proper support for LTE bands in the UK. The iPhone 5 only supports EE’s frequencies for LTE, so anyone trying to use an iPhone 5 on Vodafone’s LTE network at launch, for instance, will be stuck with 3G speeds.
As a result, The Telegraph’s sources says that the launch of the iPhone 5S has been a big factor in the decision to delay the launch of the LTE network. Reports have suggested that the phone itself is due to enter production shortly, with Apple intending to launch the handset sometime in August or September. The iPhone is generally the best selling device on most networks these days, so it makes sense that Vodafone would want to wait for a new version with full LTE capabilities in order to maximize sales.
The official line from the network? “End of summer means when there is going to be a good commercial window for launching it.” Take that as you will. Vodafone is also saying that the delay will “allow more engineering work” that should lead to faster speeds than EE’s network. Make no mistake, though: Vodafone definitely sees LTE as a “premium” service, so be prepared for lofty pricing once again.
[spotted at Wired UK]