Vodafone to drastically improve EU sales in £7bn 4G spree

Vodafone has announced it will spend £7 billion in a bid to boost its 3G and 4G mobile coverage.

The figure represents an increase of £1 billion on the original £6 billion earmarked for the improvement plan, dubbed Project Spring, which will take place over the next two financial years.

The UK will receive £300 million of this money. £150 million will be pumped into London and the other half will go into building masts and radios across the rest of the UK.

Following the $130 billion (£83 billion) sale of its hefty stake in Verizon, the company considers an expansion of its European coverage vital to improving its fortunes. Vodafone has reported its organic service revenue dipped by 4.9 per cent in Q2, due to poor European sales.

Vodafone chief executive Vittorio Colao said, "Whilst trading conditions in Europe remain very tough at present, we are encouraged by the forecast return to economic growth over the next two years and the potential for a shift in regulatory focus to support greater industry investment and consolidation."

Last week, Ofcom identified Vodafone as the only UK telecommunications firm that failed to meet 3G coverage obligations. The company came 1.4 per cent short of covering 90 per cent of the UK's populated areas.

The firm also wants to roll out more retail stores, reducing its reliance on Carphone Warehouse and Phones4U, which are currently responsible for around a quarter of Vodafone's sales, in the process.

Currently Vodafone boasts 380 individual branches, compared to EE's 600 and O2's 466.