Vodafone Ireland has announced that from today, its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile services are available to smartphone users in six cities and 31 towns across the Republic. Until now, the cellco has only been offering 4G to mobile broadband (dongle) customers, and was tipped to add smartphone availability in January next year. It is unclear whether or not its decision to bring forward the launch is connected to 3 Ireland’s announcement this week to push back its own 4G launch by a month, to end-January 2014. The cities covered by Vodafone’s 4G service under the plan are Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway, Waterford and Kilkenny. Meanwhile the full list of towns covered is: Bagnelstown, Ballincollig, Bunclody, Carlow, Carrigaline, Carrigtohill, Cloyne, Cobh, Dungarvan, Dunmanway, Enniscorthy, Fermoy, Gorey, Kanturk, Kenmare, Killarney, Killorglin, Kinsale, Lismore, Listowel, Mallow, Midleton, Millstreet, New Ross, Newmarket, Rosslare Harbour, Rosslare Strand, Thomastown, Tralee, Tullow, and Wexford.
In its press release Vodafone notes that a software update is required to enable the 4G services on existing, capable smartphones but there is no mention of whether users will need a new SIM card.