Vodafone U.K. has today announced that it will begin rolling out its new 4G network on August 29 — the same day rival O2 will launch its own 4G service. The company will reach 12 major cities across the country initially, with further expansion planned before the end of this year.
That means that by the end of this month, EE will no longer be the U.K.’s only 4G provider.
London will be the first city to see Vodafone’s “Red 4G,” while Birmingham, Bradford, Coventry, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, and Sheffield will receive it a little later on.
Prices will start at £26 ($40) per month with a 12-month SIM-only deal — which is the same figure O2 is charging — but Vodafone customers will get a little extra. In addition to unlimited super fast 4G data for the first three months, those on a Red 4G plan also get access to a Spotify Premium subscription or 150 hours of Premier League football.
If you already have a Vodafone plan, you can upgrade it to a Red 4G plan for just £5 ($7.73) extra per month. Given that the Spotify Premium subscription costs £10 a month, and Premier League football is likely worth even more, that’s not a bad deal at all. You’ll need a 4G-compatible phone already, of course.
And remember, the iPhone 5 isn’t compatible with the 4G bands used by either Vodafone or O2, so if you already have this handset, your best bet for 4G right now is still EE. That could all change later this year, however, when Apple launches the iPhone 5S.
Vodafone is also offering 4G with a number of tablets, including the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3, which will cost you £31 ($48) per month with 4GB of data, or £36 ($56) per month with 10GB of data. Other tablets, such as the Sony Xperia Tablet Z, will cost more.
Three is now the only major U.K. network that hasn’t announced its 4G launch date yet. But the carrier has confirmed that when it is available, it won’t cost customers a penny more than 3G.