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Vodafone 4G service coming 'by the late summer'

Vodafone has narrowed down when we can expect its 4G service to launch, promising ultra-fast mobile data "by the late summer".

Vodafone has narrowed down when we can expect its 4G service to launch, saying it's preparing "for the launch of ultra-fast 4G services by the late summer". The big red network had previously said we could expect 4G later in the year.

Vodafone bagged £802m-worth of 4G spectrum in the 800MHz band in Ofcom's auction earlier this year, part of a splurge of investment by the network, which also splashed out £1bn on Cable & Wireless last year to boost its business services.

"This investment is great news for customers and further evidence of our commitment to deliver our best ever network," tooted Vodafone UK boss Guy Lawrence. "It is also great news for the country. We're investing in vital national infrastructure that can help play an important role in supporting growth in the wider economy."

EE got the jump on the 4G bandwagon by convincing Ofcom it should be allowed to launch ahead of everyone else on some spare 1,800MHz bandwidth it had hanging around. It hasn't grabbed mainstream attention though, with high prices and no unlimited data. Three, which also bought some 4G spectrum, has promised not to charge more than it does for 3G.

"I haven't got reports of customers flying away to 4G," Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao was quoted saying back in February. "The kind of people who are going for it are technology freaks."

Vodafone was recently reported to have delayed its 4G launch until the iPhone 5S comes out -- probably in early September, if it's a year after the last one. That tallies fairly closely with today's "late summer" promise. One reason for the delay might be that the iPhone 5 doesn't support 800MHz, so you can only get 4G on it on EE's network.

Are you dying for some Voda 4G action? Are you waiting for the iPhone 5S before you take the 4G plunge? Let me know what you're thinking down in the comments, or over on our ultra-fast Facebook page.