Vodafone to launch 4G to stem customer loss amid uphill battle with rivals

Vodafone will launch its 4G super fast mobile network across major capital cities in June, in an attempt to bridge the gap between it and rivals in the cutthroat mobile phone market.

Vodafone will launch its 4G super fast mobile network across major capital cities in June, in an attempt to bridge the gap between it and rivals in the cutthroat mobile phone market.

The company is using the launch of the 4G network as part of its strategy of stemming the heavy loss of customers since late 2010. The company lost 423,000 customers last year, Vodafone's own figures show.

But chief executive Bill Morrow said the company's new 20 megahertz spectrum technology would allow its network to have greater speed than Telstra's and Optus' existing networks.

"At least for a period of time, we will have the fastest 4G network in Australia," he said. "We will have a bit of differentiation point that no one else has."

Vodafone, the country's third largest telco, is fighting an uphill battle against Telstra and Optus. Telstra has developed a significant first mover advantage in its super fast 4G network.

Mr Morrow also predicted as customers shift more towards smartphones, tablets and other data-heavy devices, carriers would start to charge more for data according to tiered plans.

"If you look at places that had competitive high broadband shift, that has actually occurred," he said.

Mr Morrow also revealed for the first time the extent of Vodafone customers' dissatisfaction.

He said long-term customers who signed up before the carrier's well-publicised network failures rated the company at negative 11, while "post-crisis" customers gave Vodafone a score of negative 27.

The industry average in Australia is between negative one and two.

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