O2 and Vodafone launch 4G services

O2 and Vodafone launch 4G services

Mobile networks Vodafone and O2 have today launched their first 4G data services in three cities across the UK.

Both offerings will be in direct competition with EE, which was previously the only company to offer a super-fast mobile service, since it was set up in October last year.

The launch of EE caused companies such as Vodafone and O2 to press on with the setting up of its own network as soon as possible.

And they were given further impetus when they were sold spectrum space by Ofcom during an auction in February.

Vodafone decided to splash the most cash for its spectrum bands, buying part of the 800Mhz and 2.6GHz bands for just over £790m.

Meanwhile, O2 spent £550m for part of the 800MHz spectrum

Vodafone's 4G offering will initially be limited to parts of London, alongside O2's service, which will also be available across the city.  

The latter will also be launching coverage in Leeds and Bradford.

Fourth generation networks have already taken the interest of many businesses, despite consumers being largely lukewarm about the potential benefits.

A report by industry regulator Ofcom earlier in the month suggested that a quarter of smartphone users in the UK are still yet to be convinced in terms of moving to the new network.

Despite a report from Vodafone suggesting that many business leaders were awaiting the launch of 4G with great anticipation, it remains rather unclear as to what effect the new technology will have on the way in which companies go about their business.

One of the main advantages of the 4G networks will be the fact that it can reach speeds up to ten-times faster than those of 3G.

Its introduction finally brings the UK up to speed with countries such as the US, Japan, Australia and South Korea, all of which have already widely adopted the new technology.

Mobile users in the UK however, may have to wait until the end of 2015 for a comprehensive level of coverage, despite EE's service covering 105 different towns and cities across the country.