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Vodafone 4G rolling out to Birmingham, others this weekend

Birmingham, Coventry, Leicester, Nottingham and Sheffield will all have 4G from Vodafone turned on this Saturday.

Vodafone is quickly expanding its 4G service beyond London, with five cities in the heart of England set to be blanketed in warm, loving waves of high-speed data this weekend.

Birmingham, Coventry, Leicester, Nottingham and Sheffield will all have LTE from Vodafone turned on this Saturday, the bright-red network has announced -- and Glasgow, Liverpool and Manchester will have 4G by the end of October.

That means people in Robin Hood country will be able to use 4G phones to their fullest, downloading and streaming at up to 60Mbps.

It'll cost you a pretty penny though. To take advantage of the service, you'll need a Vodafone Red 4G-ready plan, which start at £26 per month for just a SIM card -- if you want a phone, you'll have to shell out even more.

That deal includes unlimited minutes and texts, and 2GB of data per month. If you sign up before 31 October, you get an extra 4GB of data for nothing. It also comes with six months of free entertainment -- either Sky Sports or Spotify, which is worth up to £60.

You can get a new iPhone 5S for free from Vodafone on a two-year contract, with the same minutes and data as above, but it'll cost you £79 upfront and a whopping £47 per month. That's £1,207 in total over 24 months. If you paid Apple £549 for the phone SIM-free and used Vodafone's £26 per month offer, you'd end up shelling out £1,173.

4G should get a lot cheaper in December when Three launches in Birmingham, London, Manchester and Reading, with 42 more towns and cities being added in 2014. Three has promised to charge the same for 4G as it does for 3G, with unlimited data deals starting at just £12.90 per month.

If you don't live in a major city and you're prepared to pay through the nose for 4G, EE is your only option. It's available in over 100 places around the UK.

Are you on 4G already? Is it a huge improvement? How cheap would it have to get before you jumped on board? Zip down to the comments and leave your thoughts, or head over to our lightning-fast Facebook page.

Update: Added launch of 4G in Glasgow, Liverpool and Manchester.