Following a brace of announcements regarding launch dates for commercial LTE services by Spanish cellcos Yoigo and Orange Espana, the country’s second largest player by subscribers, Vodafone Spain, will beat both to the punch when it begins services over its 4G network tomorrow. Vodafone Spain has revealed that it will switch on its LTE infrastructure in a total of seven cities on 29 May 2013, those being: Barcelona, Bilbao, Madrid, Malaga, Palma de Mallorca, Seville and Valencia. At launch the mobile network operator has claimed that its 4G services will be available to approximately 55% of the population in the aforementioned locations, having rolled out the technology over the 1800MHz and 2600MHz bands. By late summer Vodafone expects to have 1,000 active 4G base stations, a total which would mean outdoor coverage of around 85% of the cities, and around 60% in-building coverage.
In terms of pricing, Vodafone has confirmed that it will offer access to the increased speeds offered by its LTE network free of charge to those customers signed up to its ‘Vodafone RED3’, ‘Vodafone RED3 Pro’ and ‘Vodafone RED4 Pro’ tariffs, as well as for those on its post-paid 10GB usage per month mobile internet plan. Meanwhile, for all other customers with inclusive data as part of their existing tariffs the cellco has said that an EUR9 (USD11.6) per month charge for those wishing to take advantage of the higher downlink and uplink rates offered by the 4G infrastructure. However, as part of a promotion to celebrate the launch, Vodafone has revealed that it will offer 4G connectivity for free until 30 September 2013 for those signing up.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, earlier this month fourth-placed cellco Yoigo said it was aiming to become the first to launch LTE-based services on 18 July, only for Orange Espana to confirm just two weeks later that it would switch on its own 4G network some ten days earlier, on 8 July.