Vodafone has joined its telco rivals to announce availability of the iPhone 5, but unlike its competitors, it won’t be offering 4G services.
Vodafone this morning confirmed it will retail the iPhone 5 from next Friday, but is yet to make plan and pricing details available. A Vodafone spokesperson told CRN pricing would be announced tomorrow.
The iPhone 5, launched today, is the first Apple device to launch with 4G capability compatible with Australia’s 4G networks. Telstra, Optus and Virgin have been announced as local telcos offering the smartphone on their LTE networks.
The smartphone had been widely expected to launch with 4G capability compatible with the 700MHz spectrum adopted by the US’ major carriers AT&T and Verizon. Apple today announced the iPhone 5 would also be compatible with the Australian 1800 MHz spectrum.
Vodafone’s announcement is timed with the launch of its 3G+ (dual carrier HSPA+) services in areas in major cities across Australia.
Vodafone today said its base station sites were now equipped with 3G+ and 4G-ready network technology. Its 4G network is not due to come online until next year.
As part of the $1.7 billion network upgrade, areas across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Perth, Adelaide and Newcastle have been activated with Vodafone’s 3G+ services, which the telco says offers data speeds eight times faster than its 3G network, from 2 to 19Mbps.
“Over the last two years, we’ve been working hard to upgrade the Vodafone network, and now have brand new equipment at every Vodafone base station across Australia,” explained Peter Ryan, General Manager Networks said in a statement.
“We’re now ready to accelerate our data speeds and the speed of network upgrades with the introduction of Vodafone 3G+ this month and our planned rapid roll-out of 4G from early next year.”
A coverage map of new and planned sites is available on Vodafone’s website.
Related: the full guide to the iPhone 5