Vodafone switches on 4G network

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Vodafone switches on 4G network

Last of the three telcos.

Vodafone today announced the launch of its 4G network in Australia, the latest effort in its comeback plan to win back the hordes of customers that deserted the company for poor mobile service.

The carrier first signalled the rollout of its fourth-generation LTE network last June, in an attempt to catch up with Telstra and Optus which launched 4G services in 2011 and 2012 respectively. 

It launched its dual-carrier HSPA (“3G+”) network in September and started construction on the 4G network earlier this year.

It has since claimed the new network could be the fastest in Australia.

The telco said today its 4G network had demonstrated trial speeds of up to 100 Mpbs. 

Vodafone's typical 4G download speeds are between 2 Mpbs and 40 Mbps, according to its website — the same as those offered by Telstra and Optus.

Vodafone CEO Bill Morrow said in a statement the initiative was aimed at bringing back customers involved in a several-years long exodus relating to poor service.

"Australians have told us loud and clear they want a fast and reliable network. We have invested heavily in our 3G and 3G+ networks and we know our wide-band 4G rollout is going to thrill our data-hungry customers,” Morrow said.

"We’ve been single-minded in our determination to improve our network, enhance our customer service and offer the best value mobile services in the country.”

New customers will be able to join the network from next month, while 4G services are open to existing customers now.

The 4G network is open to select metropolitan areas of Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, as well as Newcastle and Wollongong.

Vodafone will extend the 4G network to 1000 sites by the end of this year. 

The telco lost $393 million and 443,000 customers last year, almost double the $167.7 million loss posted in 2010. 

Its customer base fell to 6.6 million, with a 16.8 percent drop in customer service revenue to $1.8 billion. It has axed 10 percent of workers, or 500 positions, from its workforce and dumped the Crazy Johns brand.

It spent $500 million overhauling its network following the 2010 customer exodus.

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