Vodafone: No 4G Until 2013, But ‘3G+’ Coming This September

Vodafone: No 4G Until 2013, But ‘3G+’ Coming This September

If it feels like Vodafone has been trying to rebuild its network and its reputation forever, that’s because it started way back at the beginning of 2011 and has been doing a rather poor job so far. But there are finally some new services in sight: Vodafone says it will begin offering higher-speed ‘3G+’ services in September this year, with 4G to follow at some point in 2013.

Picture by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

What Vodafone is calling 3G+ is actually DC-HSPA+, which Telstra rolled out on its own networks under the ‘Ultimate’ brand name back in September 2010. Vodafone’s plans are a little less ambitious: it will offer the service in selected metropolitan locations from September this year.

It hasn’t yet announced any devices to support the higher-speed standard, but an upgrade to its existing Wi-Fi hotspot will presumably be high on the agenda. Vodafone also hasn’t specified any target speeds for the new services, which arguably makes sense given its patchy record. Plans for 4G are even hazier, with rollout of LTE services beginning in 2013 in “selected areas”.

Having recently partnered with Optus to share some tower locations, Vodafone also says that its ongoing upgrade to its existing network will be completed by the end of this year, with NSW and Victoria the main areas that haven’t yet been completed.

Where does that put Vodafone relative to its competitors? Optus is testing 4G LTE in NSW and says it will have some metropolitan services later this year, as well as working on test centres for its planned LTE-TDD services. Telstra has easily the most advanced rollout.

It’s good to have strong competition, but this doesn’t quite feel like enough to make Vodafone a major contender. What do you think?



  • Can someone explain the difference between 3G+ and 3.5G ?
    While you’re at it, maybe a reminder of what constitutes 4G would be useful too.
    Having said that, it is clear for all to see how far behind Voda is getting.
    Time to raise your game guys.

  • Hey Vodafone, I can’t use the internet standing at my bustop, on Ann Street, next to King George Square, right in the heart of Brisbane…

    • ditto and you can raise this point about most of brisbane. vodafone 3g is at best patchy to the extent that i’m seriously thinking of going to the darkside. whats the point of having a smartphone with no data connection?

      • darkside? i use Telstra and spend $60 per month. get plenty of gigs for my smartphone. works a treat. actually, i can surf without any issues on my laptop tethered for my 30min train ride. So as i see it, i dont think im using the darkside. actually it seems to be a lot more brighter on my side of the fence.

        In all honesty, i would pay twice as much for my current service happily as i know whats important to me. Its not some $49 unlimited plan on a half assed network. i need a network that has minimal dropouts and very reliable data. I get that. Those who use other carriers, want cheap. They get that.

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