Mobile broadband providers are still playing catch-up in relation to data usage, as while for mobile use the new 8GB maximum allowance announced by Vodafone as part of its 4G roll-out is impressive it is still a long way behind the average monthly data use for a fixed line broadband connection.
4G pricing starts at £26 per month for a SIM-only deal that includes 2GB of data. The Vodafone Red 4G-ready plan on a 24 month contract with a 4G-ready handset starts at £34 per month. Three size of product are available, Vodafone Red 4G (from £34), Red 4G L (from £39) and Red 4G XL (from £44), the XL plan gives you the maximum 8GB usage allowance which is described as suitable for 'a serious amount of browsing, social networking and streaming', though with iPlayer easily running at 500 MB for each hour of viewing (SD quality) you might not want to watch too many hours of TV or film content.
Interestingly there are deals to encourage people to do more with their new 4G service, where you get six months of free Spotify Premium access or Sky Sports Mobile TV access. Subscribers to the L or XL plans get a full two years of free access to their subscription of choice. The Vodafone blog does not mention whether data usage for the two freebies is subtracted from your data allowance. Once your free period is over you can choose to pay the £4.99 per month for Sky Sports Mobile TV or £9.99 for Spotify Premium.
The debate over how many cannot get access to broadband should be almost solved if Vodafone meets its promise to deliver 4G coverage indoors to 98% of the UK population over the next couple of years too. We will just be happy when you can get some degree of uniform data coverage across the big cities. let alone indoors at home - hint can Vodafone fix the 3G not-spot just south of Clapham Junction station.