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4G for ‘technofreaks’ says Vodafone CEO

Sam Loveridge



According to Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao, super fast 4G mobile networks are not currently desired by the masses and are only wanted by “technofreaks.”

Dismissing 4G networks as a service to be adopted only by the most tech obsessed customers, Colao has suggested that Vodafone has not missed out to the likes of EE in failing to target the "very early adopters."

“I haven’t seen any figures but when I visited an EE store to see how fast it was all I saw was technofreaks in there,” the Vodafone CEO said in a recent interview.

Colao has said he believes the 4G signal will be of very limited interest to the great majority of the British public, with no-one he knows mentioning the service.

“I haven’t heard any calls from friends, colleagues of businesses that we need this fast internet.”

Despite Vodafone’s revenue slipping 5.2 per cent in the past three months, Colao is adamant his customers aren’t going elsewhere just for the 4G signal. He has revealed that he also believes 4G customers won’t see a marked speed increase from those offered by the current 3G networks.

“With the increase in data speeds of HSPA [the faster version of 3G] an early LTE network won’t be much different,” he said.

Currently the only UK network provider offering the superfast 4G signal, EE has recently extended its 4G coverage to over 45 per cent of the UK population. With 27 more towns to be added before June, the 4G signal will then reach over 55 per cent of country.

However, with 4GEE contracts still costing fairly extortionate prices for little data allowances on a narrow spectrum of handsets, it seems like Colao is a little quick off the mark to dismiss the wider demand for a 4G service.

Would you opt for a 4G network provider if the prices were more reasonable? Or do you think Colao is correct in his assumptions that the 4G service is only for “technofreaks”? Let us know on the Trusted Reviews Facebook and Twitter pages or via the comments section below.

Via: Mobile News

Jason Engelsman

February 8, 2013, 6:41 pm

Sounds like he's trying to cover his ass. (Although lets put blame where its due OFCOM) I think the vast majority in the UK aren't worried about it mainly due to the fact that as you mentioned not even 50% is covered yet. Not to mention a lot of people are still tied into contracts. They can't leave their current network in favour of EE even if they wanted to. Although I do agree at the moment its is probably only 'techno freaks' that are monitoring the situation.

Austin Smith

February 8, 2013, 7:33 pm

"technofreaks " How very charming.


February 9, 2013, 1:20 am

When mobiles first started out you had to be very rich to afford.
If you have loads of cash to burn and the need then 4G makes sense.


February 9, 2013, 3:20 am

“I haven’t seen any figures but when I visited an EE store to see how fast it was all I saw was technofreaks in there,”

“I haven’t heard any calls from friends, colleagues of businesses that we need this fast internet.”

While I don't particularly feel the urge to go out and get 4G, this guy seriously needs to get a marketing department to tell him what people are asking for rather than asking his mum!

Ben Cowling

February 9, 2013, 11:45 am

I think 4G is more suited to been used for a broadband replacement for homes that can not get good ADSL speeds due to bad wiring or sheer distance from the exchange and that are not "the lucky ones" in a fibre area. but for this to happen, data plans need to be massively Raised too 50gb - 150gb a month range @ £20 - 60ppm . I have no doubt that the infrastructure can cope. There just been greedy making money, by spoon feeding it the few, rather then shipping it out to the masses.


February 9, 2013, 2:11 pm

They're not being greedy. If they were being greedy they'd do it at £5 and offer it to everyone rather than the small percentage of people who can afford high end contracts. No, what they're doing by making it a premium product is ensuring they have the income to recoup their costs whilst ensuring as little stress as possible on the system so it can be tested. Dumping the masses on it would likely demonstrate lots of weaknesses quickly and cause loss of service.

Ben Cowling

February 10, 2013, 11:58 am

I guess some warm up is needed. It will become broadband replacement eventually its already happened with 3g and has with 4g in other country's. I think they would repay the investment faster with more people adopting the technology and giving them money and be able to more quickly cover the whole country first including those spots with crappy land based internet, (which I think they should of covered first. Imagine that sorry you can only get 1mb from ADSL but 20mb on 4G, what they gonna choose!) I still think there a bit greedy as they know people will go over the low data limits and there for be penalised.

chris cranmer

February 28, 2013, 5:50 pm

This is EXACTLY the situation.Look at the data allowances on a tmobile 3g dongle-

1 Gig / month on the newer payg ones,; about two hrs of 720p video. So using 4g you could run out your months data allowance in 30 minutes instead of an hour..

They all take the mickey ..3g is considerably less responsive since EE launched here too.Dont buy in to the b/s. Spend the minimum.

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