From the 29 August O2 will be offering 4G in the UK in a bid to recover lost ground on EE and to beat Vodafone’s launch plan broadcast which is due next week.
O2 is initially launching in three cities namely London, Leeds and Bradford, but the operator says that it plans to offer 4G connectivity in an additional 10 cities by the end of the year. This number is hardly inspiring given that EE’s city tally is already 95. O2 says the cities that will enjoy 4G by New Year’s Eve are London, Leeds, Bradford, Birmingham, Newcastle, Glasgow, Liverpool, Nottingham, Leicester, Coventry, Sheffield, Manchester and Edinburgh.
In order to be taken seriously, 4G on O2 will be offered to new and existing customer on different tariffs from as little as £26 a month, the finer details like base tariff and how much data users will have available for the starting price will still be announced.
Business clients will be offered tariffs for tablets and mobile broadband from launch and Mobile WiFi (Pop Up Office) shortly. Because O2’s 4G reach is so limited when compared to EE, O2 is offering customers who buy 4G consumer tariff directly from them, 12 months free music content. They hope that this will persuade many customers to sign up with them.
4G will allow digital connectivity to be everywhere, in fact it will “become the oxygen of modern life. It is our intention to use 4G to inspire the nation through the possibilities of technology…”, says Ronan Dunn, CEO of O2.
It was revealed by sources who are familiar with the subject, that Vodafone will be detailing its 4G plans by as early as next week but Vodafone declined to comment.
The two networks have acknowledged that they will share some of the 4G infrastructure costs, and it is suspected that Vodafone will start with their 4G services by the end of the month.