O2, Vodafone launch UK 4G
The 4G honeymoon period enjoyed by UK cellco EE is over, with rivals O2 and Vodafone opening their LTE networks for commercial service.
O2 arranged a glitzy launch event featuring music artist and actor Plan B to commemorate the start of its service, while Vodafone focused on plans to double its network investment in London to £100 million (€117 million), and add five more cities within a month.
The launches leave Three UK as the only operator in the country yet to launch 4G. The firm plans to open for business in December, and is seeking to tempt its users to wait by offering an upgrade for the same price as 3G services, and unlimited data packages, the BBC reports.
EE has enjoyed a clear run at potential 4G subscribers after UK regulator Ofcom granted permission for the cellco to launch on refarmed 1800-MHz spectrum in October before a 4G spectrum auction in January. Steven Hartley, telco strategy analyst at research firm Ovum, says EE remains in a strong position, due to its wide LTE coverage – O2 and Vodafone are currently offering services in London only -, and a better spectrum position than O2.