Blogger and speaker Documentally, AKA Christian Payne, is a tech power user and a mobile media guru. So what's he most excited about when it comes to 4G?


Last year we approached blogger, journalist, speaker and social media tour de force Documentally, AKA Christian Payne, with a unique offer. We wanted to kit Documentally out with a Vodafone SIM and set him free to see what kind of usage he’d wrack up.

With that experiment still ongoing, we thought we’d catch up with the man himself to see what he makes of our recently announced Vodafone Red 4G-ready plans, and to see what he thinks 4G will mean for power users and everyday phone fans alike.

Media moguls

Like us, Christian knows that 4G is only as good as the things that it allows you to soak up:

“With more and more rich media hitting the web, screen resolutions getting better all the time and people sharing HD this and HD that, we’re going to be streaming, downloading and enjoying high quality content anywhere. And,” he adds, “we’ll be doing it all without watching a loading bar crawl across a screen.”


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But what else will it allow him to do? Christian’s a man who’s always on the go, and who manages to squeeze a lot out of the web on his travels through a multitude of different mediums. How can 4G help super users like him?

“Me? I’ll certainly share more video on the move,” he explains. Not just via Facetime and Skype but via excellent live blogging services like Bambuser. I’ll be able to deliver high-quality images and multimedia, just moments after capture.”

Working harder, smarter and faster

Uploading photos is one of the largest strains on Documentally's mobile web connection

“On top of that,” Christian tells us, “4G means remote working will suddenly become a more feasible reality, because more isolated people will be released from dial-up hell.

“Of course, this will all be dependent on accessibility. Accessibility to 4G has to work with ubiquitous coverage, realistic price plans and increased upload/download allowance.”

And that’s something Vodafone’s working hard to make a reality. Our Red 4G-ready plans all come with double the data allowance of current Red 3G plans (up to a stonking 8GB a month), and you can upgrade from just £5 extra a month.


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Funnily enough though, even a full-on super mobile mogul like Christian doesn’t eat up mobile internet usage quite as rapidly as you might imagine. We’ve been keeping a beady eye on his monthly usage during our experiment, and found out that even his most intensive month still came in at under 2GB, which is what we’re dishing out with our entry-level Red 4G-ready plan.

That said, the full lowdown on Documentally’s mobile adventures are a story for another time, so stay tuned to Vodafone Social for more soon.

And as for ubiquity? After our initial 4G rollout in London on 29 August, 4G is coming to Birmingham, Bradford, Coventry, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield before the end of the 2013. We’ll then bring indoor coverage using 2G, 3G or 4G services to 98% of the UK population.

Which brings us neatly on to the far flung future…

The future

Where is all this headed? Yago Tenorio, our UK head of networks, believes that 4G will bring with it new ways of using the internet that no one’s even thought of yet. Does Christian agree? In a word: yes.

“Ultimately, increased mobility equals increased immersion,” he tells us. “A genuine boost in the UK’s mobile connectedness will go a long way to helping us catch up with some of the internet speeds in some other parts of the world.”

“Imagine what’s possible with increased access to this kind of supercomputing sitting in your pocket.”

But then what happens? Documentally’s siding with Yago’s view that the sky’s the limit: “Not long after mass adoption of 4G, I’ve no doubt we’ll see uses of our new mobile speeds and connections leading innovation to places we can only imagine,” he says, even if he is somewhat hesitant to suggest exactly what.


Documentally is sure, however, that the extra oomph of 4G will bring more power to our phones, thanks to a raft of services, apps, music and video that all live in the cloud and are accessible on the fly:

“If you think the likes of Siri and cloud computing are impressive now, imagine what’s possible with increased access to this kind of supercomputing sitting in your pocket.” One thing’s for sure: whatever happens, power users like Christian are going to be among the first to adopt the newest and best when it comes to mobile’s next steps.

Documentally’s challenge… To see how Christian and Vodafone first partnered up, take a look at his ‘40 at 40’ challenge.