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What Does 4G Mean For Vodafone Group Plc?

Life in the twenty-first century, eh? Gone are the mobile ‘bricks’ of old, now our smartphones are able to stream live music and football matches without annoying buffering by using super-fast 4G mobile data.

And Vodafone (LSE: VOD) (NASDAQ: VOD.US) is one of the early adopters of the technology; following EE’s roll-out in October 2012, both Vodafone and O2 have now entered the 4G market, ‘soft-pedalling’ Ultrafast 4G in parts of London (as well as Leeds and Bradford, in O2’s case).

Once the roll-out is widespread, the clamour will surely continue for pricey Vodafone tariffs that offer 4G access — which can provide data up to 10 times faster than 3G — with the extra incentive of being the only provider to include Sky Sports Mobile or Spotify Premium in their packages.

Indeed, it’s been suggested that a share of the $130bn Verizon Wireless proceeds could go into extra investment to push the group’s broadband and superfast mobile networks across Europe and in emerging markets — penned as ‘Project Spring’ — which could leave competitors trailing behind.

Group chief exec Vittorio Colao commented:

“With the advent of 4G, there is a window for the number one or two players in each market to spring ahead and put more space between us and smaller players.”

“The operators with bigger shoulders will follow us, while the smaller ones or the ones who are more financially constrained may not be able to.”

Vodafone is pushing a new global brand identity alongside the 4G launch, called ‘The Power Of Red’, which shows a red rhombus shape emerging from Vodafone’s inverted comma logo.

The company has stated that its shade of red portrays “confident energy and progression“, and is synonymous with the Vodafone brand.

In addition, the new identity will work across all platforms rather than just print, with the brand director claiming: “Our new visual brand identity is a true representation of Vodafone – never static, always moving, and ensuring that our technology empowers everyone who uses it.

To me, this confirms Vodafone will not simply rest on its laurels — and its profits — following the disposal of Verizon Wireless, and I retain my belief that management will lead the company strongly into a new dawn as a ‘one-stop shop’ for mobile, broadband and television.

As such, I’m happy to hold my shares in Vodafone and collect the dividend that hasn’t strayed far from 5%.

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> Sam owns shares in Vodafone. The Motley Fool has recommended shares in Vodafone.