Almost a year since EE launched its 4G services, network operators O2 and Vodafone have today begun the launch of their own 4G services across the UK.
O2’s 4G service will cover London, Leeds and Bradford initially, with other areas of the country gaining access by the end of the year. Vodafone, on the other hand, has launched its 4G services in London only for the time being.
Until now, EE has been the only network to offer 4G, which is essentially superfast internet connection speeds- which can make browsing, watching and gaming on the go much faster and more efficient- making today’s news particularly relevant to mobile phone users around the UK.
EE’s 4G spectrum runs at a slightly different frequency to that of O2 and Vodafone, who bid on the service in an Ofcom auction earlier in the year, meaning that some handsets which are EE 4G compatible may not be with the newer services.
The final network to roll out its 4G service will be Three, which will launch in Birmingham, Manchester and London in December.
In a survey conducted by Mobilephones.com, it emerged that a whopping 86 per cent of British mobile phone users wouldn’t consider opting for 4G, and half of users would be put off a contract if it did not offer an unlimited data plan.
So will O2 and Vodafone’s 4G services make a difference to the number of users who opt for 4G?
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Having 4G available on a greater number of networks will predictably encourage more people to choose a 4G contract on their next upgrade. However, with 19 per cent of mobile users admitting that they don’t understand 4G, it’s clear that mobile phone networks have a lot of work to do in educating people as to the benefits of signing up for the service.
In an interview on BBC’s Radio 5 Live this morning, O2’s CEO Ronan Dunne hinted that while the iPhone 5 is not compatible with o2 or Vodafone’s 4G spectrum, Apple’s next iPhone will be able to run the latest superfast internet speeds.
Whether this will act as a greater draw to the newest iPhone model or to users opting for 4G is yet to be seen, but it is definitely good news for iPhone fans across the UK to be in the knowledge that they will be able to access the latest Apple handset on the fastest data connection currently available.
Written by Charlotte Kertrestel