In the battle to sign up customers for their new high-speed 4G mobile internet services, Vodafone appear to have done very well so far. Despite charging more for access and reception only being available in a select few areas of the country, Vodafone have reported that they have already signed up 100,000 customers since their 4G signal went live a few weeks ago.
Vodafone’s 4G originally launched just in London but Birmingham, Coventry, Leicester, Nottingham and Sheffield soon followed. They hope to rapidly expand their coverage over the coming twelve months. By the end of this year, they expect to have added 4G mobile internet to Bradford, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle.
Having said that, Vodafone have certainly concentrated their efforts on the capital and their coverage in London is very broad. They are boasting that it stretches across almost all of Greater London from Harlow to Dorking and from Windsor to Dartford. However, it won’t be until the end of 2015 before they can say that they cover 98% of the country’s population.
Vodafone’s 4G offer may be somewhat more tempting than their rivals because they have been offering unlimited data for the first three months on all their 4G tariffs. While may not seem to make a huge difference as it is only a small fraction of a 24 month long contract, it’s certainly better than a kick in the teeth.
Furthermore, at the moment it seems that Vodafone’s tariffs offer much better value than their competitors’ – to be honest, this aggressive pricing is probably a necessity if they want compete against EE’s early mover advantage. And Vodafone have also tried to convince customers that they provide added value by throwing in extras such as free music from Spotify Premium or free sports viewing on Sky Sports Mobile TV. They also chucked in an extra 4 GB of data allowance for all early adopting customers.
It certainly seems that their marketing efforts have been a reasonable success as Vodafone have been widely publicising their sales figures. In contrast, EE were rather more cagey about how many signups they’d achieved and it took them five months to get 1 million customers onto its more expensive 4G tariffs. At the current rate, we think that Vodafone will be pretty pleased with their results and, as the service becomes available in more regions, they will only boost their figures further.
Are you using 4G on your mobile phone yet? If so which operator are you with and why did you choose them? What you think of Vodafone’s deals and do the free extras they’re offering make any difference to your decision? Or are you waiting for Three’s 4G service to become available?