Vodafone today announced that 4G services for Smartphones has started to roll out in 6 cities and 31 towns across the country. Vodafone had previously only offered 4G services for mobile broadband customers. We had been expecting Vodafone to launch their Smartphone services in January and considering Three’s announcement over the weekend that they have again delayed their 4G service until next year, this is a welcome early arrival!
Up until the Eircom group launched their 4G services we were one of only 3 countries in the whole of Europe that didn’t have an active 4G network, which is very poor for the image of a country that is supposed to be at the forefront of cloud computing and data services in the EU. More importantly it has left the average consumer in Ireland, who pays some of the most expensive monthly premiums, with an inferior service.
The areas that will see 4G first on Vodafone are as follows:
Bagnelstown, Ballincollig, Bunclody, Carlow, Carrigaline, Carrigtohill, Cloyne, Cobh, Dungarvan, Dunmanway, Enniscorthy, Fermoy, Gorey, Kanturk, Kenmare, Killarney, Killorglin, Kinsale, Lismore, Listowel, Mallow, Midleton, Millstreet, New Ross, Newmarket, Rosslare Harbour, Rosslare Strand, Thomastown, Tralee, Tullow, and Wexford.
Vodafone has said that a software update will be needed to enable the 4G services on existing, capable Smartphones but there is no mention of needing a new SIM card in their press release (expect to need one).
Details are still light on the cost of plans for the new service but Vodafone have been advertising their existing plans as been 4G ready for some time now, suggesting that existing data allowances will be applicable on the faster network.