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O2 and Vodafone - the two newest entrants to the UK's 4G arena - have been accused of "hedging their bets" on super-fast mobile broadband.

The broadband providers launched their respective networks today (Thursday August 29th), with O2 introducing services in London, Leeds and Bradford, and Vodafone solely in the capital.

Steven Hartley, Principal Analyst at telecoms consultancy Ovum, told the BBC that the service providers were effectively "soft-pedalling" 4G.

He claimed this "very conservative" launch approach would be at the expense of customers, and potentially mean the UK falls further behind other 4G nations.

Mr Hartley said Britain's mobile broadband providers used a similar launch strategy when they rolled out 3G services a decade ago.

"[This] is to offer 4G as a premium service to consumers, in an effort to move them onto expensive phone tariffs," the analyst told the news provider.

He offered the view that EE could also have been "more aggressive commercially" in its launch of 4G services.

Ten months on from the launch of EE super-fast mobile broadband in October 2012, 105 towns and cities have access to its 4G services.

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