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Vodafone taps Project Spring funding for 4G roaming

Vodafone Australia will offer 4G roaming to its customers travelling into Europe, the UK and New Zealand thanks to investment from Vodafone Global's Project Spring.
Written by Josh Taylor, Contributor

Vodafone Australia customers on the company's new Red plans will soon gain access to 4G in Vodafone's networks in the UK, New Zealand, and parts of Europe for just AU$5 per day extra.

The company's roam like home options were launched last year, and would only allow customers to roam to 3G networks in the participating countries. However, following Vodafone UK's launch of 4G roaming to Vodafone sister companies in 10 countries by the end of 2014, Vodafone Australia announced today that it will also gain 4G roaming in New Zealand, the UK, and Europe in the middle of 2014.

"Vodafone Australia is in an enviable position with the largest global network at its fingertips and therefore at the fingertips of its customers," Vodafone Australia chief technology officer Benoit Hanssen said in a statement.

"To extend access so customers can continue to enjoy super-fast speeds internationally is a natural next step, and the Red plans offer the best value in the industry for data allowances both here and overseas."

Vodafone customers will need to ensure that they have a handset with the compatible 4G spectrum bands. Like Australia, Vodafone New Zealand's 4G network operates in the 1800MHz spectrum band, but Vodafone UK's 4G network is operating in the 800MHz spectrum band. The iPhone 5s, the HTC One, and the Samsung Galaxy S4 provide compatibility for both spectrum bands.

The funding for the 4G roaming expansion between Vodafone's sister companies came from the $10 billion Project Spring warchest that was funded through Vodafone Group's sale of its stake in US telco giant Verizon in 2013.

A key goal of Project Spring is to extend its 4G networks to reach 90 percent of Europe by 2017, but Vodafone Australia has indicated that it will seek a portion of the funding for critical IT upgrades.

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