Vodafone prepares 4G switch-on

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Vodafone prepares 4G switch-on

Makes claim to fastest speeds in Australia.

Vodafone has announced it will turn its 4G network on in June, claiming the new mobile service could be the fastest in Australia.

The company is the last of Australia’s big three telcos to launch its 4G network. In September last year VHA rolled out its dual-carrier HSPA, or 3G+, network, and announced construction on its 4G network would begin in 2013.

Today the carrier said it expected the arrival of a Vodafone 4G network would earn back customer trust after a several years-long customer exodus related to poor service. 

Vodafone's 4G network will be rolled out in stages, first to Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Wollongong, Newcastle and the Gold Coast. 

The carrier has advertised that 4G plans would be 15 times faster than the average speed 1 Mpbs) on its 3G network. It further promised to extend its 4G network to 1000 sites by the end of 2013.

“Our customers have said they want faster speeds, more coverage, and a dependable network,” Vodafone CEO Bill Morrow said in a statement.

“Our 3G+ and 4G technology provides them with the speed, and we will be adding nearly 2,000 additional sites this year to improve coverage for our customers where they need it most.”

Vodafone has spent around $1 billion on network integration and upgrades since it merged with 3 Australia to form VHA. In September 2012, the merged company announced that its base station sites had been equipped with 4G-ready network technology.

Last year the company lost $393 million and 443,000 customers, almost double the $167.7 million loss posted in 2010. Vodafone's customer base fell to 6.6 million, with a 16.8 percent drop in customer service revenue to $1.8 billion.

The telco is currently undergoing a restructure - dumping the Crazy Johns brand and axing 10 percent of its workforce, or 500 jobs

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