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Vodafone set to splurge £2.5 MEELLION a DAY building 4G network

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Vodafone's network spending will jump by half over the next year as it builds a 4G network to fill up the 20,000km fibre network it acquired last year.

The fibre came from Cable & Wireless, for which Vodafone paid just north of a billion quid this time last year.

The spending has much to do with migrating existing (rented) bandwidth onto (owned) fibres as well as pushing 4G coverage into 98 per cent of UK homes by 2015.

The £900m investment came in a promise made by Vodafone last October. While Voda's previously promised to sort out its 4G network by 2014, and later hedged its bets by setting itself a target date of 2016, it does seem pretty clear that its target is to offer coverage to 98 per cent of UK homes.

It's worth noting that this is a promise to reach 98 per cent of UK homes; O2 has a licence obligation to reach 98 per cent of people in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which is a good deal harder.

£2.5m a day sounds like a lot of money, but there's a lot of network to build and much of the money will be swallowed by improvements to existing infrastructure, rather than rolling connectivity out to the boondocks. (see also: SHEEP NEED TWITTER)

Vodafone's investment in that 20,000km of fibre could well be more important than the money it spends building radio masts, given the increased pressure on backhaul. We won't know for certain, though, until the 4G signal gets turned on towards the end of the summer. ®

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