Vodafone today announced that it has 500,000 4G customers in the UK, only six months after launching its “Red 4G-ready plans”.

The milestone is notable because EE, the first 4G network in the UK, took a little over seven months to accrue the same number of subscribers. It’s perhaps unfair to compare the two though – since EE launched its 4G offerings in October 2012, there is now a better understanding among consumers about what to expect from a 4G service. There are also more 4G-compatible devices available in the UK, which only adds to the appeal of a 4G contract.

At the time, EE was an entirely new brand – although it had Orange and T-Mobile customers to draw from –  while Vodafone has been able to lean on its existing reputation to attract new subscribers.

The carrier has also been wise to differentiate from its 4G competitors – which also include O2 and Three – by offering a free, two-year subscription for either Spotify Premium or Sky Sports Mobile TV.

Nevertheless, the take-up of new 4G Vodafone contracts shows that it hasn’t been affected by EE’s head start in the UK. The carrier is now able to deliver its 4G network to 36 percent of the UK population – including 208 cities, towns and districts – and is now targeting indoor coverage for 98 percent by the end of 2015.

Press Release [Blog Post]