Mobile giant Vodafone will launch its superfast 4G service on 29 August, with tariffs starting from £26/month including either Sky Sports or Spotify Premium free for six months. But it won't be available on the iPhone 5.

The service will initially only be available in London, but will be rolled out across 12 more cities, including Birmingham, Edinburgh and Manchester, before the end of the year.

It says speeds will be typically six times faster than standard 3G.

Vodafone's service will launch on the same day as rival O2's 4G network makes its debut. (See the O2 to launch superfast 4G network MSE News story.)

Customers won't be able to use an iPhone 5 with either network, but Vodafone is offering customers who bought their iPhones before 30 June the chance to upgrade.

Vodafone's 4G tariffs start from £26/mth for a Sim-only deal, or from £34/mth for a tariff with a 4G handset. There’s a full breakdown of what’s included below.

What's the deal with Sky Sports and Spotify?

All tariffs will come with a "data test drive", which provides unlimited data for the first three months.

And on top of that, anyone signing up to a 4G tariff can either choose to have either Sky Sports Mobile TV or Spotify Premium included for the first six months:

  • Sky Sports Mobile TV. Gives you instant access to Sky Sports 1 & 2 (and therefore 116 live Premier League games) on your mobile, as well as other sports like cricket, golf and tennis.
  • Spotify Premium. Gives you instant access to over 20 million songs, on the go, letting you create playlists and listen to the radio.

After the first six months, you’ll be charged £4.99/month for the Sky Sports app or £9.99/month for Spotify, if you want to keep the services. Vodafone says you can cancel at any time if you don't want to pay.

Martin Lewis
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What 4G tariffs are available on Vodafone?

There are a range of tariffs available, depending on whether you want a 12-mont contract or 24-month, and whether you want Sim-only or a tariff with a handset:

Vodafone 12-month Sim-only deals
Red 4G-ready Red 4G-ready L Red 4G-ready XL
Minutes
Unlimited
Unlimited
Unlimited
Text
Unlimited
Unlimited
Unlimited
Data
2GB
4GB
8GB
Wi-fi allowance
750MB
750MB
750MB
Price
£26/month
£31/month
£36/month

Vodafone 24-month tariffs with a 4G handset
Red 4G-ready Red 4G-ready L Red 4G-ready XL
Minutes
Unlimited
Unlimited
Unlimited
Text
Unlimited
Unlimited
Unlimited
Data
2GB
4GB
8GB
Wi-fi allowance
from 500MB
from 500MB
from 500MB
Price
£34/month
£39/month
£44/month
Note: You can pay more month if you want a bigger wi-fi allowance

Vodafone 12-mth tariffs with a 4G handset
Red 4G-ready Red 4G-ready L Red 4G-ready XL
Minutes Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Text Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Data 2GB 4GB 8GB
Wi-fi allowance 1GB 1GB 1GB
Price £52/month £57/month £62/month

The Red 4G tariffs will be available in-store, online and by phone from 12 August. 4G devices available from Vodafone include the Samsung Galaxy S4, and more will be rolled out in the coming months.

Already a Vodafone customer?

If you’re already on a Vodafone Red tariff with a 4G handset, you can upgrade to a 4G tariff for £5/month extra. This includes the Spotify and Sky Sports offer and double the amount of data you currently get.

If you have a Vodafone iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S3 or a Galaxy Note, you may qualify for Vodafone's 4G Promise, which will let you upgrade early by shaving 75% off your remaining charges. There’s more info on the Vodafone site.

Vodafone UK chief executive Guy Laurence says: "We are taking 4G into a new league by offering sport, and changing the tune with all the music you could want.

"4G is finally worth getting and there’s plenty to look forward to."

Other 4G options

O2's lowest tariff will also be £26/month but it has not yet revealed what you’ll get for that. It also launches on 29 August, in London, Leeds and Bradford.

EE, the first network to offer the faster mobile internet service, offers tariffs from £21/month.