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Euronews: Vodafone, O2 Begin UK 4G Rollouts

Paul Rainford
8/29/2013

Also in today's EMEA roundup: Vodafone back in talks to sell Verizon stake; Deutsche Telekom wins in ducts row; Kroes "climbs down" over roaming.

  • EE finally has some competition in the UK 4G market, as both Telefónica UK Ltd. (O2) and Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) begin rolling out their own networks today. However, as the BBC reports, their offerings will be comparatively limited, with Vodafone launching just in certain parts of London and O2 switching on in London and the northern cities of Leeds and Bradford. EE, which launched 4G services in October 2012, notched up its hundredth 4G town earlier this week. (See Q&A: EE Evolves Its 4G LTE Strategy, O2 Brings 4G Rivalry to the UK, Euronews: EE Sees 4G Take-up Double in Q2, and EE's LTE Service.)

  • There are developments too in another corner of the Vodafone empire: The company has confirmed in a statement that it has resumed talks over the sale of its 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless . Shares in Vodafone jumped 9 percent to a 12-year high following news of the talks. (See Euronews: Verizon's VOD Bid May Fall Short and Euronews: VOD Slips Back After Verizon Denial.)

  • Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) has won a legal battle against Kabel Deutschland GmbH over how much it charges the cable operator for the use of its cable ducts, reports Reuters. Kabel was hoping to have the annual charge of around €100 million (US$133.9 million) cut by two-thirds, but the court said that it could not be established that it was paying too much.

  • Neelie Kroes, the European Commission 's vice president for the Digital Agenda, has abandoned a draft proposal to reduce wholesale roaming fees by as much as 90 percent, according to this Reuters report.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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    MarkC73
    MarkC73
    8/30/2013 | 4:46:58 AM
    Re: 4G fatigue?
    I don't know why, I'm always compelled to stick up for Tmo, but it's not just cool, it's the best value per dollar you'll get (I didn't say fastest or best, but value per $).  And that doesn't make me cheap ... it makes me practical /wink.
    PaulERainford
    PaulERainford
    8/30/2013 | 4:04:52 AM
    Re: 4G fatigue?
    Content seems to be the thing they're banging on about - whether it's free Spotify,  the O2 home-grown equivalent, or whatever. Talking up speeds just doesn't seem to cut it anymore (if it ever did).
    Sarah Thomas
    Sarah Thomas
    8/29/2013 | 11:54:11 AM
    Re: 4G fatigue?
    Are the competitors playing up their pricing in marketing, or focusing on other angles? It'll be interesting to see how each sets themselves apart, especially those coming from behind. Not too dissimilar from Verizon (coverage) then AT&T (speed), Sprint (unlimited pricing) and T-Mobile (um, being cool).
    PaulERainford
    PaulERainford
    8/29/2013 | 7:19:31 AM
    4G fatigue?
    The introduction of 4G in the UK has been so drawn out I don't think there is much excitement out there about its arrival. Be interesting to see what the take-up will be with Vodafone and O2. Methinks the mobile industry needs a new marketing angle to work...
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