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Vodafone aims to placate LTE-hungry iPhone 5 & Galaxy S3 owners with '4G phone promise'

Popular UK mobile network Vodafone has announced a 4G trade-in scheme aimed at placating customers itching to enjoy super-fast mobile speeds.

The Vodafone 4G phone promise (opens in new tab) will allow people who have been with the network for at least three months to swap their old handset for a 4G-capable device once the telecoms firm rolls out the spectrum in Spring 2013.

To take advantage of the offer, Vodafone customers simply have to pay off 30 per cent of their remaining contract. In other words, if you took out a £30 tariff for the Samsung Galaxy S3 (opens in new tab) when it launched back in May 2012 - leaving you with roughly 12 months left on your contract when Vodafone's 4G network arrives - you'll be able to upgrade for around £100.

The catch? The deal is only available to owners of a limited selection of very recent handsets, namely the iPhone 5 (opens in new tab), the Samsung Galaxy S3, and the Galaxy Note 2 (opens in new tab). Moreover, it seems inevitable that Vodafone's future 4G deals will be considerably dearer than its existing price plans, if EE's £40-plus tariffs are any indication of what to expect in the early days of LTE in the UK.

We've contacted the network to see if there are any plans to make the scheme more inclusive in the future and are currently awaiting comment.

Vodafone's 4G promise will be available until December 31, 2013, but to be eligible your handset purchase must have been made between 12 September, 2012 (or 26 October 2012 in the case of the Galaxy S3) and 31 March, 2013.

LTE connectivity recently arrived in the UK courtesy of EE (opens in new tab) - for more, see our first impressions review of EE's 4G network. (opens in new tab)

James is a freelance editor, journalist, and writer with 10+ years experience in digital media, SEO and news writing. He has produced content on a number of Future sites, including TechRadar, ITProPortal, Tom's Guide, and T3, and was Senior Staff Writer at ITProPortal.