Voda Fones Home: The launch of Australia's third LTE network

"And that's something that we have taken some learnings from and really just focused on making sure that we offer a really good experience from a device perspective."

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Vodafone has a very specific strategy for launching LTE, which began earlier this week when it started transitioning current customers to 4G before opening the network to new customers in July.

"I do think that one of the things that we've gotten right is the way that we've taken it to market," said Robert Glennon.

"There's no big promise, there's no big bang, just rewarding our guys first, looking to our customers first and bringing them across [to 4G], making sure we've got the experience right."

The decision to reward loyal customers first paid off, with the initial network switch going better than expected.

"It was a bit like Y2K in here - everyone was kind of anxiously waiting to see how it all went, and there were huge cheers at how smooth the process was," Elise Davidson told us.

What's more, the company only had a total of four calls to customer support on the first day about the LTE switch on.

As more customers are added to the network, that number may increase, but for numbers that Glennon claims are in the tens of thousands, that's an impressive performance.


My testing is far from complete. Because frankly, there's still a very long way to go for Voda's LTE network.

Vodafone plans on releasing coverage maps in July when it invites new customers onto the network, which will give a better indication of where LTE is available. In our early testing in Sydney, coverage has been decent, though it's hard to know exactly where to expect 4G coverage.

But as Davidson told us: "It's not an arms race. At our launch, we're not looking for new customers, we want to make sure that the ones that we've got have a seamless experience."

From a pure speed perspective, the signs of Vodafone performing beyond expectations are high. The feel in my hand is that this is generally a bit faster than both Optus and Telstrs.

But until the network is available to everyone, it's tough to know just how well it will perform under load.

Still, the early signs are positive, which is good news for Vodafone customers. As the network expands over the next 12 months and beyond, the performance will ultimately speak for itself.