Vodafone CEO (UK) Jeroen Hoencamp talks up signal strength and content as the key to 4G success on the Vodafone company blog (here). Vodafone UK and O2, launched their 4G networks in late August 2013. That was 10 months after EE. Last week, EE revealed that it reached 7.7 million 4G subscribers at the end of 2014. Meanwhile, its network currently covers 80% of the population and is on course to cover 98% by the end of this year. Vodafone’s 4G base topped 1 million by the end of June 2014, and network coverage currently stands at about 50% of the population. He did not provide an updated subscriber figure.
“For us it’s about having the strongest network,” Jeroen says of 4G. “One of the things that makes us different from others is that we have our ‘low band spectrum’. What that means is that our 4G is on a lower frequency, which travels further and deeper indoors. Forget all the technicalities, though: all it means is that we can offer great indoor coverage, and that’s important because the bulk of mobile activity actually takes place indoors – whether people are at work and at home.
“We could build a network just to achieve massive speeds,” he says, “but the reality is that you don’t currently need anything beyond 20Mbps on a mobile device. 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.”
Many customers don’t know what 4G is,” he says. “Many customers don’t care what 4G is. All customers want is consistency, so that wherever they go they have strong signal, so that they can do what they want wherever they are. And you want to know that it’s really a step up from what you’ve seen before. So if you show people 4G as part of a big bundle with unlimited calls and texts, lots of data and content from Sky Sports, Spotify or Now TV Entertainment, then that’s the way to do it.
Vodafone UK started aggressively bundling content with their “Red 4G” in Sept last year. This post dated September 9th 2013 has more details - Vodafone UK bundling free movies, music and sports on 4G. Personally I like this approach. Networks will always get bigger and faster – it is a constant pi$$ing contest. You end up with the kind of discount war we are now seeing in the US markets. Most subscribers probably don’t really know what 3G, 4G or 5G is for that matter. They do know which content they want to see/hear/read. They do know when a movie or song buffers/stalls.
Having said that, it’s a tough sell if you happen to be out of the coverage areas…
More Here… [Total Telecom]