Vodafone has announced that it is boosting the speeds of parts of its LTE network in Germany to 150Mbps.
From Monday, customers using specific devices (currently, the Huawei Ascend P2 smartphone or the Huawei K5150 dongle) have been able to take advantage of the new higher speeds.
The only eligible plans that now feature the 150Mbps speeds are the company's top-tier ones: either the Red Premium, which runs about €110 per month with a 10GB cap, or the recently-announced Vodafone Black which is €200 per month and features a 20GB data cap. (Both premimum packages include international call minutes, as well as roaming calls, texts and data.)
The new speeds represent a 50 percent increase over the company's previous theoretical maximum download speeds of 100Mbps for LTE. Vodafone has not announced when (or if) it plans on increasing the speeds of its DSL-alternative Zuhause at-home LTE service, which currently is limited to a 50Mbps top speed.
So far, the company has launched the higher speeds on its mobile LTE network in the cities of Dortmund, Dusseldorf, Dresden, and Munich. "Other cities will follow in the next few weeks," the company said in a statement.
Vodafone's LTE speed boost represents a continued escalation of increasing 4G mobile speeds in Germany.
Vodafone was the first provider to launch an LTE network in the country, which began operation in late 2010 with a 50Mbps speed limit. In early 2011, competitor Deutsche Telekom launched its own LTE network, and in June of that year began offering 100Mbps speeds (currently, Deutsche Telekom's only plan featuring 100Mbps speeds is about €85 per month with a 5GB data cap). Germany's other major mobile service provider, O2, offers a 50Mbps smartphone LTE plan at around €50 per month that's capped at 5GB.
With the move, Vodafone has joined a handful of other mobile carriers worldwide that have increased their LTE speeds to 150Mbps in the last few months. In April, Singapore's SingTel made a similar announcement, as did Switzerland's incumbent Swisscom in May.