O2 and Vodafone have today released their 4G offering to the UK after a long wait since EE launched their services in October 2012. The market welcomes the competition and both O2 and Vodafone are adamant that the head start EE gained won’t adversely affect their business. Vodafone’s 4G will be limited to London at first whilst O2 has launched in London, Leeds and Bradford.
This comes after recent news that EE has now reached over 100 towns and cities with their 4G service and begs the question whether the two rival networks can catch up, in coverage terms, over the next few years. O2 have said they aim to roll out the service to another 10 cities by the end of the year, Vodafone is aiming for 12.
Guy Laurence, CEO, Vodafone UK said, “Speed is just the start, it’s what businesses can do with it that counts. Businesses of every shape and size need to be able to get online when they want and how they want. Even the smallest business user has multiple devices that they want to use to access crucial information and with Vodafone Red Business 4G-ready they’ll be able to share their generous allowance in the way they want. They can do all this safe in the knowledge that they’re hooked into our best ever network, built on the fact that we own more of our own fibre backbone than other networks and supported by more than £900m worth of investment this year alone.”
Ronan Dunne, CEO of Telefónica UK (O2) 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 and even more use wifi wherever they go, to always stay connected. Given this trend, there is no doubt that 4G will transform our lives, be it as consumers, in business or through public sector services.”
Scott Hooton, Chief Commercial Officer, Phones 4u comments: “Today’s another landmark day for 4G. While it’s great to see more choice in the market, consumers still don’t understand the benefits of 4G. Our own research found that while 90% of people are aware of 4G, only 39% are confident that they fully understand the benefits. Each available proposition is really strong, so our focus in-store will be fully demonstrating the capabilities to customers in dedicated experience zones to really bring the 4G experience to life and better inform their purchase decisions.”