Yorkshire’s first 4G customer was signed up yesterday as the next-generation superfast mobile phone service went live in 11 cities across the country.
Communications giant Everything Everywhere, known as EE, also launched the high-speed network in Leeds, where business was described as “brisk”.
Craig Calvert, 36, a civil servant from Swinton, Rotherham, was at EE’s shop in Fargate, Sheffield, when it opened yesterday to grab a 4G-enabled Samsung Galaxy S3 on a £41-a-month contract.
He said: “I work in Sheffield and commute an hour each way every day and will use the phone to watch videos and go on the internet on the journey.
“I currently pay £26 a month, but on this tariff I will get unlimited calls and texts and 1GB a month of data, which should be enough for what I need.”
Bobby Greasley, EEs area manager, said users would be able to download a full length, high-definition film over the network in minutes.
EE had spent £11.8 million upgrading its infrastructure in Sheffield alone.
Mr Greasley said 4G was five times faster than the current 3G service available on other networks and was much faster than many home broadband services.
He added: “We have had a lot of interest in the run up to launch day and we are expecting a lot of people to come in and sign up over the next few days.
“More areas in the region will be added to the network on an almost daily basis.”
Hull, along with Belfast, Derby, Newcastle and Nottingham will be active by Christmas, the company said.
Almost the entire country will be covered in 2014.
Rival operators including Vodafone, O2 owner Telefonica and Three will launch their own 4G services and products from next spring.
The companies had threatened legal action against communications regulator Ofcom over its 4G auction process, which has allowed EE to be the sole UK provider of the superfast services until next year.