Vodafone covers 75 percent of Europe with LTE

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Vodafone has modernised 80,000 sites and brought LTE to 75 percent of Europe's population, the operator has announced.

The UK-based operator gave its latest trading update this morning, which also detailed the progress of its Project Spring network infrastructure project.

Vodafone said it has added 36,000 2G, 47,000 3G and 41,000 LTE sites since Project Spring began in 2013. It has also upgraded 71,000 sites to connect them to high capacity backhaul.

LTE coverage across Europe has hit 75 percent, up from 52 percent this time last year. The dropped call rate fell from 0.90 percent when Project Spring began, to 0.58 percent today.

Like rival operators, Vodafone has seen its data consumption surge. Across the Group territories, data traffic has grown by 78 percent year on year, with Europe growing by 64 percent.

The operator now has 24.1 million LTE customers across its 18 markets. In Europe, 4G accounts for 35 percent of total data traffic.

Group CEO Vittorio Colao said: "More of our European businesses are returning to growth, as customer demand for 4G and data takes off. We continue to hit our Project Spring build milestones and customers are beginning to value the improvement in service that is resulting: contract churn in Europe is now falling and mobile ARPU trends are stabilising in a number of key markets."

The £19 billion Project Spring was launched in 2013 to turn around Vodafone's network performance.

Colao has been critical in the past of the UK network's performance, although its Head of Networks told Mobile Europe that it was moving in the right direction.