Vodafone's network spending will jump by half over the next year as it builds a 4G network to fill up the 20,000km fibre network it acquired last year. The fibre came from Cable & Wireless, for which Vodafone paid just north of a billion quid this time last year. The spending has much to do with migrating existing (rented) …
I bet it will still mean I have to go into the field aross the road to a get a signal
I feel the same zaax. No words can express how unexcited I am about 4G. I was in Stanstead yesterday with full 3G signal and still had the typical connectivity issues, switch back to 2G = win.
haha, I just came on to say the same thing
Will be interesting to see what this means for BT's infrastructure in the next few years. Somehow don't think buying Premiership rights is going to balance the books...
They need to increase reliability/coverage. The only reason why I would buy a 4G phone is if the signal is better inside buildings and less prone to dropping out than 2G/3G.
4G doesn't do voice calls (yet) so no need to worry about dropped calls....
"They need to increase reliability/coverage. The only reason why I would buy a 4G phone is if the signal is better inside buildings and less prone to dropping out than 2G/3G."
Well, chicken & egg problem for them. They need to start supplanting fixed line telecoms if they want growth, but that needs fast backhaul. Who'd give up a good fixed line broadband for (even) HSPA+ ? But until you can, Toadafone are stuck with being a mobile provider, hoping that dweebs updating FB on public transport will keep bringing in the bacon (or Bacon, if you're a victim of EE). If the mobe operators fix the backhaul, then they can start worrying about making the signal usable indoors and more widely.
Most of us currently have separate contracts for fixed line and mobile. Why do I need both? Because neither does everything I want. Whether they can ever make 4G a nearly universal offer with both backhaul and service coverage to supplant domestic fixed lines I don't know, but I hope so. That'd trash BT's miserable near monopoly on the last mile, and give Virgin Media a well deserved headache.
Bring it on!
Love the Spirit of your Comment
I love the Spirit of your Comment, but while 4G may become a viable alternative for those in the worst served places for BT, 4G simply doesn't offer the bandwidth to support mass take up on a fast broadband service in areas with a moderate population density. Even if it looked good at times, peak demand just wouldn't fit.
Instead of 100Mbps max for one cell, try more like 1 or 10 Gbps. Certainly more so in that direction.
I don't mean to piss on your cornflakes though, I do see this putting the wind up BT's rural ADSL offerings.
Don't forget the effect of a dynamic equilibrium, the services attractiveness causes demand, making the service progressively less attractive as it slows under load.
4G Technology or Speed?
If my current experience with Vodafone is anything to go by, I want to see some real world demo's before buying their service. Their current 3G network will happily negotiate upto HSDPA speeds with my devices, but then run at 300-400 kpbs download. And I count myself lucky living and working in area's with 4 bar's of coverage. I certainly note that whenever I travel that coverage off the 2G network is pishpoor to say the least.
Considering Vodafone's 3G network is rubbish at best where I live, half the places I go I was stuck on G or E speeds which is useless for anything but texts/calls and who uses there phone for that these days I have very little faith that their 4G will be any better. Switching to 3 who admittedly has poor CS but excellent 3G speeds.
They can invest what they want
But unless they can do better that EE's laughable so-called 'sweet spot' on pricing and bandwidth allowances, they can build it, but no-ones likely to come.
The only way to make 4G a seller is to wipe out the rather sour memories of the early noughties, when networks believed overpriced tariffs with hilarious allowances, overpriced ringtones and walled gardens full of canned comedy clips were just what the consumer dreamed of.
£2.5 million sounds like a lot, but over the course of a year, that would be about £900 million. The Vodafone profits for a year are just under £10 billion.
I think that they could afford the investment. Just hope that they actually do manage to deliver the service.
VF Group vs VF UK
10 Billion is across VF Group not just VF UK.
£2.5m/day is peanuts. Way less than BT used to spend just doing routine network upgrades.
As to covering 98% of people that sounds like a crazy target to set/accept, how does it take into account that people are moving around all the time?
Only if the price is right
There is no point in offering an "ultra-uber-mega fast" network if you need to remortgage your home to use it. If Vodafone try to offer 4G with the same costs and caps as they currently offer for 3G, then the mega-fast speed is pointless.
bugger the 4g network, it would be nice if voda would get the 2g network running here in lincolnshire, then they might like to have a look at what seems to be a non-existant 3g network before worrying about 4g
Just 3G and decent data allowances would be nice
Try using Vodafone's 3G network anywhere in central london during the working week! I'm normally lucky if I can load a mobile optimised web page. I would be perfectly happy with 3G for mobile use if they sorted out the backhaul in congested areas. Also, they are exceedingly stingy with data allowances (probably as a consequence of limited capacity). Fix those first please!
Re: Just 3G and decent data allowances would be nice
VF is indeed bloody useless in central London, particularly the City, but its very good where I live in east London. My GF has Three and gets exactly the opposite -reasonable speeds in town, but a crawl when she's at home. The big difference is allowance; my (almost up) 2 year contract gives me a paltry 500 meg, whereas she gets unlimited data on a 12 month sim only contract for what amounts to the same money after phone subsidy is accounted for.
The EU are going to force networks to allow 3rd party bandwidth purchase for roaming data, which should see prices plummet. Unless data in the UK can somehow be decoupled from network contracts, I can't see really decent allowances appearing from the 3 major networks, and if they don't pool network infrastructure in congested areas, I doubt we'll see much improvement in usable daytime speeds either.
.. they should throw some money at redeveloping that god-awful web site of theirs, then customers could actually maintain their accounts and not have to keep asking "help" desk to reset their login credentials. Bah!
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