Vodafone to offer LTE services this year

Vodafone to offer LTE services this year

Summary: Vodafone has revealed plans to launch next-generation Long Term Evolution (LTE) or 4G mobile services to consumers later this year.


Vodafone has revealed plans to launch next-generation Long Term Evolution (LTE) or 4G mobile services to consumers later this year.


(Credit: Josh Taylor/ZDNet Australia)

Following months of user complaints about the quality of its network services, Vodafone will next week begin a massive national network upgrade, replacing its base stations' existing Ericsson 2G and 3G cabinets with one Huawei SingleRAN cabinet. The lone cabinet will deliver 2G and 3G services to Vodafone customers and will also support Long Term Evolution (LTE) coverage.

In a statement, the company said it plans to begin offering LTE services later this year.

"Huawei's SingleRAN solution will enable Vodafone to upgrade to 4G or LTE at the flick of a switch, with the first LTE next generation services expected to come online later this year," the company said in a statement.

Vodafone pointed to trials it had conducted with Huawei last year in the 1800MHz spectrum when asked for further details, but did not comment on where services would become available.

Vodafone's plans to launch LTE services follow on from Telstra's announcement earlier this year that it plans to have 4G services up and running in a number of metropolitan and regional centres by the end of 2011.

Vodafone's upgrade will see network engineers start work in the early hours of next Tuesday morning on five sites between Ourimbah and Toukley on the Central Coast. After the upgrade is completed at these five sites, the engineering team will return after the Easter and Anzac Day long weekend to commence upgrades at 39 other base stations between Newcastle and the Hunter Valley.

These areas are expected to be completed by 3 May, when six weeks of network testing will begin, the company's chief technology officer Michael Young said in a statement.

"Our plan is to minimise disruption to customers in the area and absolutely maximise network performance in Newcastle, the Hunter and the Central Coast region before moving on to other regions of Australia," he said. "The changes to our network equipment will happen overnight, but the actual improvements in network performance and experience will take a couple of months to be fully realised."

Vodafone has advised that there will be a two-hour outage for customers in the early hours of the morning when these upgrades occur but customers in the area will be told of this downtime via an SMS alert prior to the upgrade and emergency calls will not be affected by the outage.

Over the next 18 months, Vodafone will replace equipment in over 5800 sites, and install equipment in 2200 new base stations.

Topics: Telcos, Mobility, Networking


Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • A "one-box-overnight-solution" will definitely fail.
  • Ha ha ha,

    Gee, 4G for voda. What a joke! You gotta love 'em only for the laugh.

    No matter how much junk they put on the towers, without sufficent investment in backhaul, you may as well be on mobile dial-up, let alone 4G.

    Show us the investment in backhaul, and they may have a story. Anywhere else is a joke. People just don't seem to get it, that telco is one of the most expensive capex industries, and without investment, you got no chance.
  • This is why Vodafone is very interested in the NBN because they are looking for that future backhaul solution...the Huwei boxes are LTE ready...I wonder what mad devices and services are in the works. Exciting times!
  • LTE is cool and dandy, until it's health effects are proven.
  • I don't think the upgrades have worked too well. I'm in Shelly Beach, I believe I'm connected to the Long Jetty tower, at the moment and my phone is reporting -107 dBm and 3 asu reception, so I've been living on wi-fi instead. And it hasn't improved when outside of the house either. Maybe one day they will get it right.