Cardiff is one of four cities being ‘switched on’ today ahead of plans to roll out fourth generation – or 4G - mobile services across the UK.
4G, dubbed ‘a new era for mobile phone use’, offers speeds of up to five times faster than the current 3G technology.
It will allow uninterrupted access to the internet on the move, high definition films to be downloaded in minutes and TV to be streamed without buffering.
The UK is lagging behind much of the world, with more than 40 countries already making use of 4G.
But Orange and T-Mobile owner Everything Everywhere, which was renamed today as EE, plans to make the technology available by Christmas.
Engineers will begin live-testing and systems integration in Cardiff ahead of the roll-out, along with London, Bristol and Birmingham.
EE's competitors, including Vodafone, 3 and O2, have threatened legal action over telecoms regulator Ofcom's decision last month to allow EE to launch 4G on its existing network.
Supporters say launching 4G earlier than planned will help boost Britain's flagging economy, but critics say it will have the opposite effect by creating an uneven playing field.
Vodafone said the move would create ‘competitive distortion’ and showed a ‘careless disregard for the best interests of consumers, business and the wider economy’.
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