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Vodafone announces UK carrier aggregation roll-out

Vodafone has announced it will begin rolling out LTE Advanced, aka 4.5G, in Birmingham, London and Manchester this month, with rest of the country to follow over a year’s time. The operator will be the first in the UK to launch commercial LTE-A network services.

Auri Aittokallio

October 15, 2014

1 Min Read
Vodafone announces UK carrier aggregation roll-out
Vodafone is set to roll out LTE-A network services

Vodafone has announced it will begin rolling out LTE Advanced, aka 4.5G, in Birmingham, London and Manchester this month, with rest of the country to follow over a year’s time. The operator will be the first in the UK to launch commercial LTE-A network services.

The 4.5G service is delivered through carrier aggregation on the 800Mhz and 2.6GHz spectrum frequency bands, which the operator claims are particularly well suited for the technology, saying the lower frequency is good for indoor coverage, whereas the higher frequency ensures peak speeds and capacity.

Vodafone said its LTE-A network will allow up to three times faster peak speeds compared to its standard 4G network. “This clever technology is the next big step to deliver faster speeds per user and to increase the capacity so more customers can enjoy a great 4G experience when and where they want it,” Vodafone UK Technology Director Fergal Kelly said.

Although Vodafone is the first in the UK to launch consumer LTE-A, EE has been running its own 4.5G service already for almost a year. EE’s LTE-A network, however, is a pilot only available in London’s Tech City. Launching the service in November last year, the operator said it would be commercially available in 2014, but it looks like EE is running out of time on that front.

According to Vodafone, the 4.5G rollout is part of a £1 billion overall investment programme in its UK network and services this year. Other investment targets have included a nationwide HD voice technology and the Vodafone Rural Open Sure Signal programme for 3G coverage for remote areas. This announcement is likely to lead to a 4.5G land-grab from the other UK operators.

About the Author(s)

Auri Aittokallio

As senior writer for Telecoms.com, Auri’s primary focus is on operators but she also writes across the board the telecoms industry, including technologies and the vendors that produce them. She also writes for Mobile Communications International magazine, which is published every quarter.

Auri has a background as an ICT researcher and business-to-business journalist, previously focusing on the European ICT channels-to-market for seven years.

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