Struggling mobile operator Vodafone today announced wider availability of its 4G network to new users, as it looks to arrest the exodus of customers churning away due to bad service.
The network was switched on today for new customers across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth in addition to the regional hubs of Wollongong, Gold Coast and Newcastle. Last month the network was switched on for existing Vodafone customers in select pockets of these locations.
Vodafone Australia’s chief network officer Benoit Hanssen claimed the network's 20MHz spectrum meant the company was able to offer among the fastest speeds available across mainland Australia.
“Put simply, the wider the radio channel, the fatter the pipe, which translates into faster data speeds for customers. Vodafone is currently the only carrier that has this spectrum band in all five major mainland state capital cities," he said in a statement.
Vodafone said its 4G network would build off its existing investments in 3G+ and 3G networks since the start of last year. The telco announced its base station sites had been equipped with 4G-ready network technology in September 2012.
The company has been pouring money into boosting its network in recent years after large numbers of customers turned away from the telco for bad service. Since 2009 Vodafone has spent around $1 billion on network integration and upgrades.
In 2012 the company lost $393 million and 443,000 customers, almost double the $167.7 million loss posted in 2010.
At its worst, the copmpany has been losing as many as 90,000 customers a month.
Hanssen said the new network was 15 times faster than 3G.
"Our customers who are already using Vodafone 4G have told us over the past month they’re achieving faster data speeds than what they can get with fixed broadband at home,” he said.
Vodafone is inviting people to check on the availability of 4G services in their area.