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O2 and Vodafone 4G networks launch today

4G networks from O2 and Vodafone launch today, finally bringing EE some competition on the superfast broadband market.

Londoners will get able to join the Vodafone or O2 4G network from today, with customers in Leeds and Bradford also getting access to the O2 superfast broadband.

Initially the O2 4G network will cover 5 million UK citizens, with an additional 2 million customers getting access to the network each month.

“It’s a rapid rollout”, said Ronan Dunne, CEO of O2. “We only got the spectrum at the end of May and this is all about configuring and optimising to ensure the best service.”

The basic O2 4G tariffs start at £26 per month for a measly 1GB of data matching EE, but a little stingy when compared to Vodafone’s 2GB offering for the same price.

Jump to £31 per month and the data offered is 5GB, while £36 will get users 8GB of data. However, consumers will only get access to these bumped up data offerings if they sign up to 4G before October 31, prior to the majority of the UK actually getting access to the O2 4G network. After this cut-off point, the data will drop 3GB and 5GB respectively.

Unlimited texts and minutes come as standard with O2, and for up to 12 months customers will get streaming access to O2 Tracks, Priority Sports content and deals and free Gameloft titles.

Vodafone 4G tariffs start at £26 a month too, offering unlimited texts and minutes and 2GB of data on a 12-month SIM-only contract.

Every Vodafone 4G contract comes with the choice of a Spotify Premium or Sky Sports Mobile TV subscription free of charge.

“With 4G, speed is just the start: it’s what you do with it that really matters”, said Guy Laurence, CEO of Vodafone UK. “We are taking 4G into a new league by offering sport; and changing the tune with all the music you could want. 4G is finally worth getting and there’s plenty to look forward to…”

Customers already on a Vodafone tariff with a 4G compatible device can also upgrade to the 4G network for an additional £5 per month, but will also gain access to the Spotify Premium or Sky Sports deal for free. They will be able to double their data allowance too, but will obviously need a 4G compatible handset like the Samsung Galaxy S4 to do so.

Next, read our pick of the best smartphones of 2013.

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