Vodafone Preps LTE Launch in Portugal

Vodafone Portugal is getting ready to light up Long Term Evolution (LTE) in the country after releasing price plans for the new service on Monday.

The operator unveiled plans to launch LTE in 13 cities in Portugal as soon as it gets official approval from the national regulator to use the spectrum it acquired in an auction that ended in December 2011. According to a Vodafone spokesman, that is expected to happen in the next couple of weeks. And for the initial LTE service, the operator will use 2.6GHz spectrum. (See Vodafone Gets 4G Spectrum in Portugal.)

Vodafone unveiled two new tariffs for the 4G service: "Best Net 4G 50," which costs €49.99 (US$65) per month for download speeds up to 50Mbit/s and upload speeds up to 25Mbit/s, and "Best Net 4G 100," which costs €59.99 ($79) per month for download speeds up to 100Mbit/s and upload speeds up to 50Mbit/s. The device for the LTE service is a USB dongle, called the Vodafone Connect Pen 4G, and costs €159.99 ($210).

Why this matters
The 4G launch in Portugal will be Vodafone's second commercial LTE service after Germany, where Vodafone primarily uses the technology for a DSL replacement service in underserved broadband areas.

It is also interesting that the two LTE tariffs appear to be priced according to network speeds and not by the amount of data allowed each month.

For more
Here's the latest on the LTE action in Europe:

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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