Vodafone has been stuck in a disappointing third place in the UK mobile battle, losing to EE and O2, however Vodafone UK CEO Jeroen Hoencamp does not believe this is due to the lack of 4G LTE support.
According to Hoencamp, all customers care about is a strong consistent connection, regardless of speed. He even claims that any speeds over 20Mbps are pointless on mobile, saying "even for streaming video you only need a couple of megabits per second."
On the Vodafone blog, Hoencamp claims "Many customers don’t care what 4G is. All customers want is consistency, so that wherever they go they have strong signal, so that they can do what they want wherever they are."
Hoencamp says a low-end spectrum is more important in maintaining a consistent connection and Vodafone could have invested in a 300Mbps network but did not want to due to the limitations of mobile.
His claims are quite rash, considering EE has gone from a brand new entity to the largest 4G LTE network in under three years, thanks in part to its aggressive marketing of 4G speeds with Kevin Bacon.
O2 has also invested heavily in 4G LTE technologies, making its service capable of speeds over 100Mbps. Even fourth place provider Three UK has invested in 4G technologies, making Vodafone a lone-wolf with 3G-only plans.
Vodafone is only a few million subscribers behind O2 and EE, however, and the adoption of 4G LTE packages remains small, with EE far ahead at 6 million subscribers.
But, as Vodafone maintains a rather lackluster 45Mbps limitation, EE is investing in technologies for over 450Mbps of speed.
The caution of Vodafone might allow them to build the most consistent network in the UK, but that is not going to matter when people actually want to access higher quality video or online games through mobile.