The UK is still catching up when it comes to 4G. Even though major operators are backing LTE with new plans and upgrades in the works, the process is slow and consumers are having to deal with a rather long wait. While EE continues to expand on its LTE lead, Vodafone and O2 have begun slowly rolling out upgrades across their networks. Three on the other hand are looking at December to unleash the high five kitty.
Vodafone will initially launch 4G in parts of London, while O2 will hit London, Leeds and Bradford. Both companies will attempt to draw in more custom with extras and bundled goodies. These extras include football highlights, streaming music and more. Stuart Orr, managing director of communications industry at Accenture, had the following to say on the strategies:
"The move by Vodafone to package Sky Sports and Spotify in with its new 4G offering shows that operators know they have to demonstrate what new 4G services mean immediately for consumers and why they should pay more."
O2 has said the company will roll 4G out in a further 10 cities by the end of 2013. Vodafone aims to be in 12 more cities before we see 2014.
Three's aggressive 4G stance
So when will Three be launching later in the year? London, Birmingham and Manchester will see the start of the 4G roll-out on the network. A further 50 cities will be covered by the end of 2014. By 2015 the company plans to reach 98 percent of the UK, a considerable feat to catch up to EE. The best part about Three's 4G is that you won't have to upgrade or fork out anything for the boosted speeds.
Current unlimited data plans with Three also remain unlimited with 4G.
It's a shame that Three is the only mobile operator in the UK with the right marketing for consumers. Free 4G. EE received some negative feedback from the general public regarding the cost of LTE and how little data was provided. With the likes of Vodafone and O2 also bundling other extras with the 4G plans to further attract custom, we could be witnessing the signs of weak reception to the mobile upgrades on the high street.
What are your thoughts on 4G here in the UK and how the mobile operators are going about things?