Vodafone has seen its revenues slip, though the red-hued network insists it isn't losing customers to speedy 4G services.
Revenue dipped 5.2 per cent in the last three months of 2012, The Guardian reports -- the biggest fall in over three years. The cash drop comes despite an increase in customer numbers however, as Vodafone's total number of UK subscribers climbed 230,000 to 19.5 million.
Vodafone itself blames the decline on customers hunting for bargains elsewhere, with company boss Vittorio Colao adamant that paying customers aren't flocking to 4G.
"I haven't got reports of customers flying away to 4G," the embattled CEO is quoted as saying, going on to declare, "The kind of people who are going for it are technology freaks."
That seems a little unfair to me, as I'm sure most smart phone owners would jump at the chance to boost their browsing and download speeds. If 4G is of limited interest for now, it's because EE -- as the only company to provide the fast new technology -- is charging through-the-roof rates for it.
That will change later this year however, once the ongoing 4G spectrum auction is concluded, and rival networks can kick off their own services. Three has the right idea, having already promised that 4G speeds will cost the same as current contracts.
Three is using 1,800MHz spectrum it's buying from EE to forge its 4G services. It's not clear whether operators like Vodafone or O2, which are bidding in the 4G auction, will be able to offer 4G without a bump in prices.