Vodafone UK CEO Jeroen Hoencamp has defended the operator's rollout of 4G, saying customers prefer solid and reliable service rather than a superfast connection which is prone to dropping out.
TechWeekEurope reports that Vodafone is very much playing second fiddle to EE when it comes to 4G customers, but Hoencamp suggests that's somewhat part of the plan, with the operator adopting an organic approach to coverage expansion.
Hoencamp brings particular attention to Vodafone's implementation of low-level frequencies like 800MHz, which he says allow it to offer superior indoor coverage.
He says this is in keeping with its ethos to only ever declare a location to be 4G ready if it was able to serve the entire population – not just a town or city centre.
"For us it's about having the strongest network," he explained. "Wherever we build 4G, we've proved that we can deliver great unbeatable 4G speeds and coverage, but it's not a race to have the highest speeds because when it comes to mobile, speed only gets you so far."
Hoencamp adds that it could build a network just to achieve massive speeds if it wanted to, but it's more concerned with maximising bandwidth to enable more customers to "enjoy great content on the move".
Vodafone now offers LTE-Advanced, which combines 800MHz and 2.6GHz spectrum, in London, Birmingham and Manchester and is trialling Voice over LTE (VoLTE). However, Hoencamp says customers are not hung up on technology; they just want a good service.
"Many customers don't care what 4G is. All customers want is consistency, so that wherever they go they have strong signal, so that they can do what they want wherever they are," he stressed.