4G has landed in London. To celebrate, we've been down to Trafalgar Square with some of London's most famous footballers in tow....
What a day! Yesterday, our network went live in the nation’s capital, with London now the first to feel the extra thrust of our Ultrafast 4G network before we spread out to provide coverage using 2G, 3G or 4G services to 98% of the UK population..
To celebrate, we went into the heart of London in a bid to showcase what a great combination speed and entertainment are together. How? With a smattering of footballing legends and some high-tech radar cameras to boot.
Getting up to speed
Speed is only the starting point for 4G – it’s what you do with it that counts. So, on top of download speeds up to six times faster than 3G, and double the amount of UK data allowance of our regular 3G plans, our Red 4G-ready plans come with a choice of either Spotify Premium or Sky Sports Mobile TV for up to two years.
With our Sky Sports partnership in mind, and the first North London derby of the season coming up this weekend, we invited former Arsenal teammates Ian Wright and Tony Adams and ex-Spurs players Ledley King and Les Ferdinand to Trafalgar Square for a special penalty speed test.
Read on to find out what went down…
On the spot
When you bring North London’s fiercest footballing rivals together, you’re going to need some cutting edge tech to make sure the results can’t be disputed. Thankfully, that’s exactly what we had going on behind the scenes. We caught up with David Jones from Out of the Blue the team behind the tech to find out how it works:
“We put two radars behind the goalmouth,” David explains. “They fire out 34GHz radio waves, that come back to them as the signal bounces off objects, similar to how bats use sonar. When they recognise a change in the speed of the signal coming back, they realise that something’s moving and work out its speed.
“They work out the speed in miles per hour, and that information’s sent into our computers, which we can then use to work out the averages, and show it to the watching crowds on the big screen.
“They detect anything from a car down to the size of a tennis ball, moving either away from or toward them and they’re accurate to one mile per hour. In fact, it’s the same technology the police use in speed cameras.”
With the tech in place, our footballing superstars were ready to step into our mini arena to see which of them could unleash the fastest penalty kick. Who was responsible for the winning strike? Check out the video below to find out:
#4GSport or #4GMusic?
With Vodafone 4G kicked-off in style for London, we caught up with our sporting legends to get their thoughts.
First up: what did they think of the result? “I think it was fixed,” Ledley said, referring to the fact that Arsenal’s average penalty speed came out higher overall. “Before we even got there I think it was rigged for Arsenal to win. I’m sure we hit our penalties harder than theirs! But it was good fun, all the same.”
Fellow Spurs star Les Ferdinand was in agreement: “The result was hideous! Whoever was doing the scores must have been an Arsenal fan,” he said. “It’s a bit like a refereeing decision, this; we always talk about the referee at the end of games, and this is no different!”
Predictably, ex-Arsenal legend Ian Wright had no time for sore losers: “When you lose you can get bitter, and Ledley and Les are obviously quite bitter. The meter doesn’t lie,” he said, triumphantly. “We beat them!”
Wrighty’s right hand man Tony Adams was slightly more diplomatic about his team’s win, “You’ve got Les and Ledley’s renowned power and strength, and then typical me powering it over the bar. But even an injured Ian Wright is still fantastic technically with his left or right foot, so no surprises that we won.”
“I’m a #4GSport man, without a doubt.”
OK, so that’s the penalties (sort of) settled. Time for the serious stuff: so, are our sporting heroes #4GSport or #4GMusic? Both Sky Sports Mobile TV and Spotify are top choices, so it was a tough decision for some:
“It’s a difficult one,” Les told us. “I’d have to flip a coin, and flip it three times. I love music; when I don’t play football it’s the one thing that I really like. I’m into funky house music; my mate DJ Spoony does mixes and sends them to me and that’s what I like to listen to. But then, I love sport, so it’s a tough choice. But I think #4GSport would win in the end,” he said, “because it wouldn’t just be football; it’d be golf, cricket…everything.”
Ledley King’s also into music in a big way: “I’m a big lover of sports and music; I’m really passionate about both. Recently I’ve been playing the Jay-Z album – I love R&B and hip-hop – so that’d be top of my Spotify playlists.”
Still, being footballers, there was one clear winner. “I’m a #4GSport man, without a doubt,” said Wrighty, and Tony Adams was inclined to agree, telling us that he’s “a football man all the way.”
“You can watch the game this weekend on Vodafone 4G, by the way,” Tony said before he left, offering up his predictions for the North London derby as he did. “I’m seeing plenty of goals; I think it’ll be 2-2.”