Phone giants target 13 cities by end of year with 4G

4G - fourth generation networks - can provide data to smartphone users on average six times faster than 3G connections. Credit: Ian West/PA Archive

While today's launch of 4G services by O2 and Vodafone will be limited, both aim to have 4G network coverage in 13 cities by the end of the year and eventually serve 98% of Britain.

O2's service will initially be switched on in London, Leeds and Bradford, reaching up to five million people. Vodafone will roll its service out in parts of the capital.

The phone companies will then expand to London, Birmingham, Bradford, Coventry, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield.

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O2 & Vodafone 4G launch

Vodafone and O2 are both launching their high-speed 4G mobile data networks today. Both firms plan to have network coverage in 13 cities by the end of the year. Rival EE launched their 4G service last year.