Operator promises data bonus for early adopters as Birmingham, Coventry, Leicester, Nottingham and Sheffield are added
Vodafone 4G customers who sign up for the LTE service before the end of the October will receive an extra 4GB of data every month for the duration of their contract as the network expands to five more cities on 28 September.
The offer is available to all consumer and business customers, while existing 4G customers who subscribed after the 4G tariffs were announced on 21 August will also be eligible for the so-called ‘4GBonus’.
This includes both SIM-only plans and 12 or 24-month contracts with a 4G-compatible handset.
Vodafone 4G launched on 29 August in London, but Birmingham, Coventry, Leicester, Nottingham and Sheffield will be added to the network by the end of the month, with Bradford, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle included before the end of 2013.
The operator will hope its offer will fend off competition from O2 4G, which launched on the same day, as well as EE 4G, which has enjoyed a considerable head start over its rivals.
EE has secured one million 4G customers since LTE was rolled out last year and covers more than 100 towns and cities in the UK. However it has been suggested other operators could benefit from its marketing campaign, which has seen slow adoption rates increase rapidly in recent months.
Vodafone will also be banking on its generous data allowances and inclusion of Sky Sports Mobile TV or Spotify Premium in its 4G plans will convince customers to pay a premium for 4G. Three has said its LTE network will be available to its ‘ultrafast’ customers at no extra cost when it launches this December, while there will be unlimited data for all users.
“Vodafone’s data boost could really be the shift needed to kick the UK 4G market into high gear. While prices haven’t been driven down by added competition, we have seen providers jostle for position by offering perks, as well as become more generous with their mobile data allowances,” said Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at uSwitch. “However, Vodafone’s Achilles heel is still, for now at least, coverage. EE now serves 100 cities and even O2, which launched on the same day, already has coverage in three times as many cities.”
Do you know all about 4G and the mobile future? Take our quiz.