Vodafone to boost 4G speeds in London, Birmingham & Manchester

Vodafone Sure Signal

Vodafone customers in London, Birmingham and Manchester could see 4G speeds increase using a technology called LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) that combines its 800MHz and 2.6GHz spectrum.

The mobile operator said the technology, dubbed "4.5G", could offer speeds up to three times faster than those currently available on 4G using a technique called carrier aggregation.

This means the operator will combine spectrum from the 2.6GHz and 800MHz bands, not only increasing speeds but also improving indoor coverage. The 800MHz band will penetrate further through walls while the 2.6GHz band is better at handling a large number of simultaneous connections.

Vodafone UK technology director Fergal Kelly said: "This clever technology is the next big step to deliver faster speeds per user and to increase the capacity so more customers can enjoy a great 4G experience when and where they want it."

The rollout of the technology begins this month in London, Birmingham and Manchester and is expected to reach other cities in the UK by the end of 2015. The implementation is part of a 1 billion investment by Vodafone to improve its network.

Rival operator EE is also set to roll out LTE-A and is currently trialling it in London's Tech City, with plans for a full rollout from next month. That operator will combine spectrum using its 1.8GHz and 2.6GHz allocation.

The speed bump should help boost the dismal ratings it got in a recent survey by Rootmetrics. The survey revealed that Vodafone came last for reliability, speed, mobile internet and text performance.

Vodafone yesterday announced it was extending its 4G roaming to 23 countries following the successful launch of its service in Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal earlier this year.

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.