Vodafone will not roll out its 4G LTE network until "after the end of the summer," the company claimed on Monday.
The network won big in the 4G spectrum auction earlier in this year, but wants to make sure its infrastructure is ready before offering next-gen speeds to customers.
It had widely been expected to open 4G tariffs in June this year, but the delay extends EE's massive headstart after it launched in late October 2012 and continues to roll out to more cities.
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Vodafone's hesitance may have arisen from the incompatibility with the Apple iPhone 5, which runs on EE's 4G frequencies, but will not work on the spectrum Vodafone purchased back in February.
Voda still confident
The company still, which may be waiting for Apple to announce its next-gen phone before launching 4G, claimed its network will still best the existing EE infrastructure once it launches.
Vodafone's chief executive, Vittorio Colao, said: "We are convinced our own 4G will be better performing," said
"We want to be able to launch it when it's really ready. End of the summer means when there is going to be a good commercial window for launching it."
The company spent £790m on securing a large portion of the 800MHz and 2.6GHz spectrum up for grabs in the spectrum auction.
As a result it was expected to beat O2, and Three - which has said it is in now rush to roll out 4G - to the punch. That now seems unlikely.