Vodafone pushes back 4G launch

The mobile provider is in no rush to follow in the footsteps of EE by launching its own version of the 'superfast' 4GEE mobile broadband service.

Vodafone has warned that it could be a while before its 4G mobile network is launched.

The company had been planning to launch a 'superfast' 4G service in June - to rival EE, which remains the UK's only major 4G provider - but now the big launch looks set to take place a little later in the year, possibly September.

In February, Vodafone spent over £800 million on the radio spectrum or 'airwaves' required to run 4G mobile services in Britain.

Yesterday, the company revealed a sharp decline in its pre-tax profits, which some believe may have been behind the decision to hold back on its 4G plans.

Vodafone said in a statement: "Our network strategy continues to focus on supporting higher speed data in bother mature and emerging markets."

Rather than focus on the launch of 4G, the provider is currently looking to invest in existing 3G infrastructure, with a view to reaching 80% coverage by March 2015.

Meanwhile, in the UK, EE is taking full advantage of its first-to-market position with plans to effectively double the speed and capacity of its 4G mobile broadband.

The "enhanced" 4G service will bring EE's top speed to 80Mb of more, and double the average speed customers actually receive to at least 20Mb. It will be switched on across 10 UK cities - including London, Bristol, Edinburgh and Leeds - by the end of the summer.

O2 has yet to announce any plans and Three, the UK's fourth biggest mobile provider after EE, O2 and Vodafone, has said it's in no rush to launch a 4G service.

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