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Vodafone 4G roaming spreads to Italy, Spain and Portugal

The red-hued operator will now let you get speedier data when you travel to one of four European countries.

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Martin Good/Shutterstock

Vodafone is expanding its 4G roaming offering, and will now let you access speedier data when travelling to one of four European countries.

Spain, Italy, Portugal and Greece are covered, the red-hued operator says, and UK visitors who take their mobiles to these locales will find their phones able to latch onto Vodafone's own 4G network in those countries.

4G has only recently established itself in the UK, and is still a technological luxury compared to the slower 3G, at least in terms of most networks' price plans. As such, operators are only just opening up the possibility of getting roaming 4G when you take your mobile abroad. Rival network EE already offers 4G in France and Spain, and has promised to add the USA and other European countries by the summer.

Not free to roam

The power to roam on 4G comes at a cost, however. Vodafone says that Pay monthly customers will have the offer of opting into Vodafone's EuroTraveller scheme, which lets you use your UK data allowance abroad for £2 per day.

That's not too much cash to splash for the privilege of downloading maps abroad (to say nothing of posting gloating beach pics to Facebook), but Vodafone notes that the £2 per day deal only runs up until the 31 August, at which point it could become more expensive. If you don't go for the EuroTraveller option, you'll end up paying Vodafone's pricey Europe Zone rates, which you can see below.

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Vodafone

"To offer 4G speeds in major travel destinations will really be a key step towards freeing users to make the most of superfast smartphones whilst away from home," Uswitch analyst Ernest Doku told CNET, "But the key issue preventing many from doing so is still one of cost. The fear of racking up huge bills is still very real, but we are finding customers becoming more savvy without having to lock their mobiles in the hotel safe."

"The combination of 4G speeds while abroad with a service that leverages use of domestic minutes, texts and data is one which we hope to see other providers getting behind," Doku said, "And hopefully we can see the end of both billshock and bad coverage whilst on holiday in the near future."

Are you interested in 4G roaming abroad? Or would you rather have free 3G roaming? Let me know in the comments.