Finally, after what seems like years of waiting, all the major networks bar Three are launching their 4G networks in the UK. EE's no longer our sole, pricey LTE provider anymore. Vodafone's flicking the 4G switch on August 29th launching in 12 towns and cities across the UK by the end of the year.
Unfortunately it's only London that'll see Vodafone's "Red 4G" on the 29th, with Birmingham, Bradford, Coventry, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, and Sheffield joining the party a little later.
Prices seemingly start at £26 a month and up, but you'll get Spotify premium or 150 hours of Premier League football and unlimited data for the first three months bundled in to try and tempt you away from EE and O2. Existing subscribers on Vodafone Red will be able to add 4G to their plan for just £5 extra a month, which I guess, considering you get a £10-a-month Spotify subscription thrown in, isn't a bad deal. You'll still have to have a 4G-ready phone, of course. The £26-a-month plan will be a 12-month SIM-only deal, so you'll have to provide the handset, and remember, the iPhone 5 won't work on Vodafone's LTE network.
Tablet deals are there too, should you want superfast on something a bit bigger than a phone. A Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 will set you back £31 per month with 4GB of data, or £36 for 10GB a month. Other tablets like the Sony Xperia Z will, of course, cost more. Finally, 4G modems will be available, with £20 a month bagging you 4GB of data, or £30 for 10GB.
We've been hearing for a while that Vodafone was on the verge of hitting the green light on its super-fast 4G network, first that it intentionally delayed the launch and then that it was going to try and beat O2 to the punch. Considering Vodafone grabbed the most spectrum out of anyone in the official 4G auction, its network could be absolutely killer.
Historically big red has been decidedly on the expensive end of the scale, which probably leaves Three as the last bastion of cheap LTE. You'll have to do the cost analysis once Vodafone puts up all its plans, but it looks like our hopes of a 4G price war have been dashed.