Mobile phone operator Vodafone has announced plans to roll out its 4G network to five more English cities as it seeks to compete with EE and O2.

Vodafone customers in Birmingham, Coventry, Leicester, Nottingham and Sheffield will be able to access 4G from 28 September, providing they are on one of Vodafone's 4G contracts.

Vodafone revealed that a further seven cities will be hooked up to its 4G network by the end of the year, including five English (Bradford, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle) and two Scottish (Edinburgh and Glasgow).

Vodafone’s 4G rollout got off to a slow start on 29 August when London was announced as the only city to receive the superfast speeds that fourth generation networks offer.  On the same day O2 rolled out its network to London, Leeds and Bradford.

O2 also revealed plans to extend its network to a further 10 UK cities by the end of the year, including Birmingham, Newcastle, Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester, Leicester, Coventry, Nottingham, Sheffield and Edinburgh.

Both Vodafone and O2 are competing with EE, which launched its own 4G network last October after industry regulator Ofcom allow it to repurpose some of its existing spectrum. Today EE’s 4G network has been rolled out to over 100 cities and is used by over one million customers.

Three is the only major network yet to launch 4G, but it has announced plans to go live in December without increasing the price of 3G tariffs while also offering unlimited data allowances.