Guy Laurence, chief executive of Vodafone UK, has predicted a swift take up for 4G as people crave faster downloading speeds to enjoy music, videos and live streaming.
"I think adoption will be far faster than 3G, which was 10 years ago, because people didn't really know how to use it," he said.
"It is no good trying to sell technology to people, you have to sell something they want, and they want entertainment."
Mr Laurence said 4G will be on tap for nearly all of Britain within 18 months.
"By the end of 2015 we will have 98% coverage," he said. "To give you an idea, only 98.4% of dwellings have running water. So 98% is very high indeed."
Olivier Ropars, senior director of mobile commerce at eBay Europe, which compiled the report that suggests that the 4G mobile network could provide a boost to the UK economy, said:
– Olivier Ropars
Consumers today want convenience and speed.
The arrival of universal 4G will bring with it a more immersive, instant and intimate shopping experience than ever before - putting the most exciting features of mobile retail as we know it into high definition.
It won't just turbo-charge the way we shop. It will truly give us the ability to shop anytime, anywhere.
That means an extra £1.8 billion of consumer spending up for grabs.
A new study has suggested that the high-speed 4G mobile network could boost the British retail sector by an estimated £1.8 billion in a year.
The faster service is expected to reduce the frustration caused by slow or unreliable internet access which can put off consumers from making purchases on smartphones.
Retail analysts believe the national 4G roll-out could prompt a 113% surge in mobile shopping.
EE, the first network to provide a 4G service, has announced 4G is being switched on in nine new towns and cities across the UK, taking the total to 37.
The 4G network is now available in:
EE said it hopes its 4G network will cover at least 72 towns and cities by summer 2013 and reach "well over half of people in the UK".
Thomas Wehmeier, principal analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media, has said Ofcom's decision to allow Everything Everywhere to deliver 4G services is a 'major milestone' for the UK mobile market.
He also said it was a vindication of Everything's decision to invest in readying the ground for 4G.
Everything now has a golden opportunity to establish an early lead in the UK's 4G market, but it will only be able to exploit this window if it is able to build a successful launch strategy.
The most successful 4G operators globally, including in the world's most advanced 4G markets of the United States and Korea, have been those that came out of the traps quickly and built their networks out extensively.
– Mobile phone operator Everything Everywhere
Ofcom’s decision to make 4G available this year is great news for the UK. Consumers will soon be able to benefit from the much greater mobile speeds that 4G will deliver.
4G will drive investment, employment and innovation and we look forward to making it available later this year, delivering superfast mobile broadband to the UK.
Telecoms regulator Ofcom has approved mobile phone operator Everything Everywhere's bid to use its existing airwaves to deliver next generation 4G services.
The operator which owns the Orange and T-Mobile networks, will be allowed to offer services from 11 September.
Ofcom said of the decision: "Everything Everywhere 1800 MHz licences would deliver significant benefits to consumers, and that there is no material risk that those benefits will be outweighed by a distortion of competition."