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Vodafone is prioritising the strength and reliability of its 4G network over speed and coverage, Jeroen Hoencamp has explained.

The mobile broadband provider's UK Chief Executive claimed that, when it comes to mobile, "speed only gets you so far".

“Wherever we build 4G, we’ve proved that we can deliver great unbeatable 4G speeds and coverage, but it’s not a race," he stated. "For us it’s about having the strongest network."

Mr Hoencamp said that one of the things that differentiates Vodafone from its rivals - such as EE, O2 and Three - is that it has 'low band spectrum'.

This means the firm's 4G network operates on a lower frequency, which travels further and deeper indoors. He claimed that, as a result, Vodafone offers "great indoor coverage".

He said this is important since the bulk of mobile activity takes place indoors - at home and at work - in the UK.

According to figures published by Ofcom in November 2014, EE is the UK's fastest mobile broadband provider. In tests conducted earlier in the year, the firm - which was the first to launch 4G services in the UK - achieved average 4G speeds of 18.4Mb.

By comparison, Ofcom recorded average speeds of 14.3Mb on Vodafone's network.

Yet EE's advantage, in terms of download capabilities, is not something that overly concerns Mr Hoencamp.

"We could build a network just to achieve massive speeds, but the reality is that you don’t currently need anything beyond 20Mb on a mobile device," he suggested.

"Even for streaming video you only need a couple of megabits per second, so we think less about absolute speed and more about using that bandwidth to enable more customers to enjoy great content on the move, even in the busiest places and at the busiest times."

Mr Hoencamp claimed that "all customers want is consistency", so that wherever they go, they have a strong 4G signal.

He said Vodafone would love to expand its network faster, but it is focused on getting the rollout right first time.

"I’d rather do it at the pace we’re doing, than try to go faster and build a thin and flimsy network," Mr Hoencamp added.

"You can have a few sites here and there, but that would give you really patchy signal. We only turn 4G on when we have built or updated enough sites."

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