Vodafone is attempting to keep hold of its customers by promising a special upgrade deal when its 4G network launches next year.
EE is the only UK mobile operator with the capability to launch a 4G network at the moment after Ofcom ruled it could repurpose its 1800MHz spectrum as of September. It is officially launching the network next week, which has left rival operators worrying about losing customers who decide to switch.
To try and combat the move, Vodafone has laid out plans for its current customers to switch to 4G when its network goes live – there is no official launch date, but the operator promises it will be in spring.
Those who sign up to a contract with an iPhone 5 or a Samsung Galaxy Note II between 12 September 2012 and 31 March 2013, or those who go for a Samsung Galaxy S III from today, will get a 70% discount on any remaining contract charges, if they choose to switch to the 4G network when it launches.
The 4G Story
As long as the customer has paid a minimum of three months of the contract and brings back the original handset in working condition, it can sign up to a new 4G contract and get a compatible phone by paying 30% of whatever remains of their contract.
The cut-off date of the end of March has led to speculation Vodafone will launch its 4G network in April. However, the company said in a statement that this was not the case and it would not confirm dates until after the spectrum auction is completed.
The operator promised more handsets will become part of this deal over the coming months and the offer will end on 31 December 2013
Vodafone also confirmed it was planning to run its network on the 800MHz frequency band, which will provide better coverage indoors than EE – the lower the spectrum, the easier the signal can travel through walls.