Verizon funds allow Vodafone to speed up 4G rollout in the Netherlands

Having lagged behind its rivals in the country, the Verizon boost has allowed Vodafone to bring forward its LTE network rollout date.

A financial boost from the US has allowed Vodafone to accelerate the rollout of its 4G network in the Netherlands.

Having previously given December 2016 as the likely completion date for the rollout of its high-speed mobile network, Vodafone has announced that it is planning on having full nationwide 4G coverage in the Netherlands by April 2015.

Catching up

The company, whose 4G network currently covers around half a million people in the cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Den Haag, Utrecht, and Maastricht, has some catching up to do.

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Although Vodafone is well ahead of its competitor T-Mobile, which today announced that it is switching on 4G in four major cities in the Netherlands (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht, and parts of the Hague), the speed of its rollout looked considerably slower than T-Mobile's own.

T-Mobile is planning to have nationwide 4G coverage by the end of 2014, while competitor KPN (which was recently the subject of a fierce takeover battle by Mexican telco America Movil ) is leading the race, currently offering 4G coverage in more than half of the country, with nationwide coverage scheduled for March 2014.

Financial injection

While it appeared to be falling behind its rivals, the buyout deal struck between Vodafone and Verizon in early September has provided Vodafone's Dutch arm with fresh financial firepower.

Vodafone recently announced that the proceeds of the deal — which saw Verizon agree to pay $130bn to buy Vodafone out of their joint US mobile business (a partnership that lasted for 14 years) — would be used to invest in network expansion, in markets such as the Netherlands.

On its website, Vodafone Netherlands states that in the next three years, the company will invest an additional €270m, on top of the €250m it invests annually, in its network infrastructure. 

Vodafone CTO Mallik Rao said in a statement: "These additional investments are an important step for Vodafone. The number of customers able to use Vodafone 4G has already grown rapidly.

"We always aim to give our customers the best network experiences, and therefore, we will be investing more than €1bn in the next three years, facilitating an accelerated 4G rollout. In April 2014, about half of the Netherlands will be able to use Vodafone 4G, and a year later, coverage will be nationwide."

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