EE may have been first to get out the gate on 4G but given the less than enthusiastic response to its LTE tariffs from many mobile users the other networks are far from out of the picture even though they're having to wait to offer their own packages.
Now Vodafone says it will let customers upgrade early to a 4G device so long as they stay with the network in the meantime – a gimmick its calling the Vodafone 4G promise.
Customers on any monthly tariff (including small business customers) will be able to upgrade once Vodafone's 4G handsets are available in the Spring provided they pay 30% of their remaining contract costs.
Let's say you take out a new £25 deal over 24 months three months before Vodafone's 4G packages are available, your total upgrade would work out to £157.50.
We say three months on purpose, as to be eligible your phone needs to be have been purchased been September 12, 2012 (or October 26 in the case of the Samsung Galaxy S III) and March 31, 2013, and – needless to say – your 4G contract must be of an equal or higher value than the plan you're replacing.
And therein lies the rub, really – Vodafone can make all the 4G promises it likes (and claim as it does that its 4G service will offer 98% indoor coverage by 2015, seen to be a problem for EE), but ultimately it will be prices that make all the difference.
The nature of 4G's rollout suggests it will actually be something of a real price war, too. Let's hope so, anyway, because if Vodafone's approach to its 4G prices as as different from EE (or Orange and T-Mobile) as its existing plans have been down the years, they'll be pretty close to exactly the same.