Vodafone is not in a rush to boost speeds

Networking empire

Vodafone's UK CEO Jeroen Hoencamp announced the network won't be pushing for 400Mbps mobile broadband but wants to make services more reliable instead.

Vodafone is already achieving a more stable network than its competitors because it uses low band spectrum that has been designed to penetrate buildings better, offering "great indoor coverage," according to Hoencamp.

"We could build a network just to achieve massive speeds, but the reality is that you don't currently need anything beyond 20Mbps on a mobile device," he said.

"Even for streaming video you only need a couple of megabits per second, so we think less about absolute speed and more about using that bandwidth to enable more customers to enjoy great content on the move, even in the busiest places and at the busiest times."

Hoencamp added that many of Vodafone's customers don't know or care what 4G is. They want consistency with their network rather than the ability to download films in seconds or stream content faster, he claimed.

"People tend to take technology for granted, so we need to make it seamless and easy for people to use, and worry free, so that they can forget about it," he added.

Vodafone's 4G network covers more than 50 per cent of the UK population, but boosting coverage isn't a focus for the company. Rather than speeding up its roll out of superfast mobile broadband to keep up with the likes of O2 and EE, it wants to focus efforts on building a more reliable network.

"I'd rather [roll out 4G] at the pace we're doing and get it right, than try to go faster and build a thin and flimsy network. You can have a few sites here and there, but that would give you really patchy signal. We only turn 4G on when we have built or updated enough sites.

"So instead of just having 4G in the centre of a town and saying that the whole town has 4G, we don't say it's there until it's there. It's about us being able to prove that people are happy with it," he said.

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.