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Vodafone's 150Mbps 4G hits eight new cities in Spain

Vodafone has more than doubled the number of areas where its LTE service is available.

Vodafone on Tuesday announced the launch of 4G in eight more cities in Spain.

The cities that are being included in the next stage of its LTE rollout are Santander, La Coruña and Zaragoza, which will get 4G services in September, and Cordoba, Vigo, Murcia, Oviedo Gijon, where the network will go live during October.

Vodafone's 4G network is currently available in 15 cities after launching in several major locations earlier this year. Similar to Three UK's plans, Vodafone is offering 4G at no additional cost to customers.

Once the eight cities are live, the network should cover 58 percent of their population outdoors, Vodafone said, and 28 percent in-building. For the seven cities that got 4G earlier this year, coverage is 85 percent outdoors and 60 percent indoors.

The 4G service currently comes with maximum download speeds of 150Mbps and a 50Mbps uplink.

The network operates on the 1.8GHz and 2.6GHz frequencies, and Vodafone expects to be able to boost coverage once the 800MHz spectrum band becomes available for reuse with 4G in Spain.

Vodafone, Telefonica and Orange secured licenses to use 800MHz frequency for 4G in Spain in 2011, and were expected to be able to use that by the beginning of this year. However, the European Commission in July accepted a delay to Spain's 800MHz Digital Dividend plan, pushing that back to 2014.

Vodafone became the first operator to launch 4G in Spain when it switched on its network in late May. It was followed shortly after by Orange, which rolled out LTE to six cities in July, and Yoigo, whose own fourth-gen network went live days later in Madrid.

Spain's biggest mobile carrier, the Telefonica-owned Movistar, hasn't announced when its 4G service will be available, but a recent network-sharing deal with Yoigo suggests it could be later this year or early 2013.

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