Vodafone wants to have the best 4G network when it launches later this summer
The company acquired the most spectrum in the recent Ofcom 4G auction, paying out £802 million for a combination of 800MHz and 2.6GHz bandwidth.
It had been expected to offer 4G to customers early this summer, but it has now delayed the roll-out, possibly as late as September, to ensure it is able to offer the best possible service.
Vodafone 4G investment
The operator has now increased its network expenditure by more than 50 percent to not only prepare for 4G but also to integrate the fixed line network it acquired during the £1 billion takeover of Cable and Wireless Worldwide last year.
It had been suggested that Vodafone was waiting for Apple to announce a new iPhone that would be compatible with Vodafone’s LTE network as the current iPhone 5 only supports the 1800MHz airwaves used by the EE 4G network. However Vodafone has not commented on the suggestion that this is the reason behind the delay.
The planned investment could be funded by £4.5 billion dividends paid out by Verizon Wireless, its US joint-venture with Verizon Communications, which wants to buy out Vodafone’s 45 percent stake in the company for a reported £65 billion.
Investors will hope that when 4G does eventually launch it will provide a boost to the company’s balance sheet after it recorded a 4.2 percent year-on-year fall in revenue last month, blaming tough economic conditions in Southern Europe.
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