Vodafone delays 4G launch in UK until 'end of summer'
Vodafone has postponed the rollout of its 4G network just to ensure it's "really ready" when launch time does come around.
Many had expected Vodafone to launch 4G services in June after buying £790 million of 4G spectrum in February, but the company is now aiming for an August or September launch, while rival EE -the sole company with 4G services in the UK - plans to double download speeds by summer.
Vodafone told The Guardian on Tuesday that it would pause lighting up 4G until "the end of the summer", because this will verify that its network was ready while providing an ideal marketing window.
The wait for Apple's next iPhone could have influenced Vodafone to delay the rollout of its 4G network for marketing purposes. The current 4G-capable iPhone 5 works only with frequencies that EE offers, but a Vodafone-compatible iPhone was expected for this summer until rumours of fingerprint sensor issues allegedly stalled Apple's release.
The Telegraph's unnamed sources purportedly confirmed on Tuesday that the speculative "iPhone 5S" had contributed to Vodafone’s decision to delay 4G.
"We are convinced our own 4G will be better performing," said Vittorio Colao, chief executive at Vodafone. "We want to be able to launch it when it's really ready. End of the summer means when there is going to be a good commercial window for launching it."
Despite the late start for 4G, Coalo wants 40 per cent of the UK to have 4G coverage before March 2014.
EE launched its 4G network in the UK in October 2012 and has said it would have 1 million customers across 50 cities by Christmas, and it will have doubled speeds to 80Mbps in 10 cities by the time Vodafone switches-on 4G services.