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Vodafone and Telefonica plan 4G services by 2015

Some better news on the 4G front this morning, with the announcement that Vodafone and O2 owner Telefonica will team up to create one shared 4G grid in the UK.

Some better news on the 4G front this morning, with the announcement that Vodafone and O2 owner Telefonica will team up to create one shared 4G grid in the UK.

This could speed up the roll-out of superfast 4G services in the UK, with the two firms saying that its network will be in place by 2015, two years ahead of regulator Ofcom's requirement of 98% coverage by 2017.

4G mobile services will enable users to download music and videos to their smartphones and tablets at high speed.

Although the two firms will continue to compete against each other in the mobile market, they will pool their network infrastructure.

"Exceptional customer demand for the mobile internet has challenged the mobile industry to consider innovative solutions to building a nationwide network that will be fit for our customers in the future and support the products and services that will truly make Britain digital," says Ronan Dunne, chief executive of Telefonica UK.

Guy Laurence, Vodafone UK chief executive, adds: "This partnership will close the digital divide for millions of people across the country and power the next phase of the smartphone revolution."

Last month Vodafone, O2 and Three tried to block Everything Everywhere (which operates Orange and T-Mobile) rolling out its 4G mobile services before they do.

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Andy Clough

Andy is Global Brand Director of What Hi-Fi? and has been a technology journalist for 30 years. During that time he has covered everything from VHS and Betamax, MiniDisc and DCC to CDi, Laserdisc and 3D TV, and any number of other formats that have come and gone. He loves nothing better than a good old format war. Andy edited several hi-fi and home cinema magazines before relaunching whathifi.com in 2008 and helping turn it into the global success it is today. When not listening to music or watching TV, he spends far too much of his time reading about cars he can't afford to buy.