updated 06:56 am EDT, Thu August 29, 2013
O2, Vodafone agreement allows networks to roll out simultaneously
British carriers O2 and Vodafone have launched their 4G networks in the United Kingdom. The launch of both high-speed phone networks in the country, following behind established 4G network EE, is accompanied by a confirmation from competitor Three that it will begin to roll out its own 4G network from December onwards.
O2 is starting its network off in London, Leeds, and Bradford, with Birmingham, Coventry, Glasgow, Liverpool, Leicester, Manchester, Nottingham, Newcastle, and Edinburgh set to receive coverage by the end of this year. Vodafone, thanks to an agreement to work together with O2 on their 4G networks, will be rolling out in identical areas in a similar timeframe.
Three will launch its 4G network in London, Birmingham, and Manchester at the end of this year, with an extra 50 cities expected to be covered by the end of 2014. While EE, Vodafone, and O2 are charging for 4G-specific data usage, Three will instead allow its customers to use their existing data plans on the network at no extra charge, provided they use a 4G-capable device.