Vodafone's 4G Plans On Hold?

Vodafone got really aggressive last year, talking up its 4G plans with promises of a network running by Christmas. Then... nothing. Now its current pitch seems to revolve around the idea that HSPA is 'enough'. ITNews reports on Vodafone's plans surrounding the 'digital dividend' spectrum auction; that's the sale of the 700Mhz and 2.5GHz spectrum bands that open up as Australia switches over to digital television. ITNews quotes Vodafone CEO Nigel Dews as saying that they're serious about bidding for digital dividend spectrum, but not at any price.

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'We will seriously go into our preparation for the digital dividend auctions and look expectantly at that process. But there's a price for everything and you don't buy anything that's at the wrong price, you buy things at the right price and that's what we'd be hoping to be able to do.'

What then, of Vodafone's 4G rollout? Don't get too expectant too quickly. Dews is reticent about LTE generally, stating that Vodafone was waiting until

'...mass-market devices are capable and have an impact for the vast majority of our customers. We're less inclined to do the aggressive talking about LTE.'

Instead, Vodafone will leverage and boost its speeds on existing HSPA hardware, which currently tops out at 7.2Mbps downstream. Vodafone's plans for HSPA hardware are planned to offer speeds of up to 21Mbps to up to 96 per cent of the population. [IT News]

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