Vodafone turns to sport and songs to sell 4G

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 07, 2013 11:38 AM

LONDON (Reuters) - Playing catch up to market leader EE, Vodafone has turned to sports and music to persuade its British customers to upgrade to its superfast 4G service when it launches in London later this month.

The mobile operator, the third largest after EE and Telefonica's O2 in Britain, is offering 150 hours of Premier League soccer from Sky Sports or music from Spotify Premium as well as unlimited data for three months to customers who switch.

Both Vodafone and O2 are launching 4G services on August 29, joining EE, which has had the superfast mobile broadband market to itself since October 2012.

"We are taking 4G into a new league by offering sport and changing the tune with all the music you could want," Guy Laurence, chief executive of Vodafone UK, said on Wednesday.

Vodafone said 4G tariffs would start at 26 pounds ($40) a month, and existing customers on its Red packages, that bundle data, texts and calls, can upgrade for an additional 5 pounds a month.

It will launch 4G services in London, it said, and a further 12 cities would be added by the end of the year.

(This story is refiled to correct chief executive's name to Guy Laurence, from Lawrence, in paragraph 4)

(Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by Kate Holton)