Vodafone's UK business fell deeper into decline with the UK's largest mobile phone operator, Everything Everywhere (EE), luring high-spending customers with the first 4G network.
On the day Vodafone posted a 5.2 per cent fall in revenue at its British business during the Christmas quarter, EE announced it had switched on its superfast, fourth generation, mobile internet service in Newbury the home town of Vodafone.
Customer numbers in the UK rose 230,000 to 19.5 million, suggesting the revenue fall, which was the biggest for the company in over three years, had been driven by a less profitable mix of subscribers, analysts said.
According to Vodafone, the drop was due to a change in its prices and customers looking for bargains elsewhere rather than the arrival of 4G last October.
According to Vodafone chief executive, Vittorio Colao, he had not received reports of customers ''flying away to 4G.'' He added, the kind of people who were going for it were technology freaks.
With the telco's markets in Spain and Italy in sharp decline, due to the continuing impact of the recession in Europe, and price cuts imposed by regulators in Brussels, Vodafone missed forecasts.