Vodafone Group plc
) announced that its U.K. arm has reached 500,000 4G customers
within six months of the super-fast wireless technology launch.
The news bears testimony to the popularity of 4G and the quick
acceptance it is enjoying.
The U.K. based mobile operator has noticed that 4G customers
are using twice as much data as its 3G users owing to more usage
of this faster version of mobile network for video
streaming, video calling and m-commerce purpose. Vodafone's 4G
customers used 300 TB of data during December.
On Aug 29, 2013, Vodafone launched its 4G service in U.K.
along with O2, which is owned by Spanish wireless operator
). Although Vodafone launched its 4G service in the U.K. 10
months later than Everything Everywhere, the telecom behemoth has
outpaced its larger rival in hitting the half million 4G customer
Newbury based Vodafone's success can be attributable to its
efforts to diversify 4G offering by providing sizeable data
allowances along with a two year free subscription for either
Spotify Premium or Sky Sports Mobile TV.
Vodafone's 4G network currently covers 36% of the U.K. The
company will invest £900 million this year to ramp up its 4G
network and aims to cover 98% of Britain by 2015. That is quite
an ambitious target given the fact that 4G customers constitute
only a fraction of its total subscriber base, which stands at
419.4 million at the end of 2013.
4G is rapidly gaining momentum globally owing to demand for
high-speed wireless data services and mobile video. Unprecedented
progress of smartphones has only fuelled the demand. We believe
the rapid growth of 4G will boost the company's financial
performance given the higher ARPU generating capacity of the
Recently, Vodafone reached an agreement with
Verizon Communications Inc.
) to sell its 45% interest in Verizon Wireless for $130 billion.
This enormous fund will be sufficient for Vodafone to expand its
However, Vodafone still needs to go a long way before catching
up with Everything Everywhere, which is way ahead with 2 million
customers covering 70% of U.K.
Vodafone currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A
better-ranked stock within this sector includes
BT Group plc
), with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
BT GRP PLC-ADR (BT): Free Stock Analysis
TELEFONICA S.A. (TEF): Free Stock Analysis
VODAFONE GP PLC (VOD): Free Stock Analysis
VERIZON COMM (VZ): Free Stock Analysis Report
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.