O2 in the UK to switch on 4G at the end of August

By James Richardson on 1 Aug 2013 10:13 am EDT

Here in the UK - if you want to take advantage of 4G on your BlackBerry 10 smartphone you have to be with EE, who were the first UK network to roll out LTE. That's all about to change as on August 29th O2 will follow suit and switch on 4G in three cities for starters.

Clearly the new O2 service will be somewhat behind in terms of coverage compared to EE and they sure have some catching up to do. 4GEE is now available in 95 UK towns and cities and will cover more than 100 by the end of August, covering 60% of the population. Compare that to what you'll see in the following press release from O2 and the race is on.

Fingers crossed the other non 4G UK networks will be releasing news soon - although they will still be in the catch up game.

Press Release

O2 today sets out its plans for its 4G network launch later this month, which will make it the fastest growing 4G network in the UK. The superfast 4G network will be switched on in London, Leeds and Bradford on 29th August, reaching up to five million people from launch. O2's ambitious rollout plan aims to make 4G available to an additional two million people per month, culminating in O2's 2G, 3G and 4G network reaching 98% of the UK population both indoor and outdoor.
By the end of the year, O2's 4G network will be live in 13 cities. Further detail relating to the specific switch-on dates will be announced over the coming weeks.
London | Leeds | Bradford | Birmingham | Newcastle | Glasgow | Liverpool |
Nottingham | Leicester | Coventry | Sheffield | Manchester | Edinburgh

To allow as many people as possible to experience and enjoy the benefits of 4G, O2 is launching a range of tariffs starting at £26 a month, which come complete with a 30 day Happiness Guarantee for customers who sign up direct from O2. Business customers will also be offered tariffs for tablets and mobile broadband from launch and Mobile Wifi (Pop Up Office) in the coming weeks.

4G networks will provide faster data speeds (up to 5 times faster than 3G) and a more seamless mobile experience, marking a new generation for the mobile industry. O2 has invested £550m to secure one of the highest proportions of the UK's lowest frequency spectrum (800Mhz), which was released to O2 at the end of May and was fully cleared by Ofcom this week. This frequency reaches further than any other, delivering the best indoor penetration and outdoor reach.

Data usage on the O2 network has more than doubled in the last twelve months, demonstrating the ever growing appetite for mobile data services. 4G will complement O2's current network offering, which includes 9,000 free O2 Wifi hotspots and the more recently launched TUGo, which uniquely allows O2's consumer customers to make calls over wifi and use their tablet or laptop to make and receive calls and texts.

From today, O2 is introducing a new in-store and social media campaign encouraging everyone to be '#O24G' Ready, inviting people to get their 4G-ready handset and free 4G SIM now, either in an O2 store or via an O2 business account manager.

O2 plans to go beyond what has already been offered in the 4G market and bring to life the digital experience for its customers, starting with 12 months free music content for those who buy a 4G consumer tariff direct from O2. Next generation office applications and services powered by 4G will enable O2 business customers to be more collaborative, more efficient and more productive. Further details on O2's 4G portfolio will be unveiled in the coming months.

All O2 customers will also be offered free 4G advice and guidance from an O2 Guru from launch, either in-store or via web chat, to explore the possibilities that 4G will unlock. Business customers can receive a consultation with their O2 business account manager to discuss how their organisation could benefit from 4G

Ronan Dunne, CEO of Telefónica UK (O2) said: "It's great that I am able to announce O2 4G the day after the spectrum has been cleared for use. Digital connectivity will be made ubiquitous by 4G and become the oxygen of modern life. It is our intention to use 4G to inspire the nation through the possibilities of technology, encouraging people to live more, do more and be more with O2.

"The full potential of 4G is as yet unexplored, but what we can be sure of is that it will allow for a whole new world of opportunity that people are now ready for. Over half of our customers say they use more data than two years ago and even more use wifi wherever they go, to always stay connected. Given this trend, there is no doubt that 4G will transform our lives, be it as consumers, in business or through public sector services."

Ben Dowd, Business Director at O2 said: "I believe that 4G is not only going to transform the way businesses work, but also how services are delivered to customers. Start-ups and small businesses should also be considering the benefits 4G offers in terms of agility and being able to engage with their customers in new ways. We will be working with our business customers over the coming months to bring the possibilities of 4G to life, but urgent commitment from businesses and the public sector is also required for its true value to be realised."

To celebrate its launch, O2 is hosting a gig in London at its iconic music venue, O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire. A headline artist, to be announced in the coming weeks, will perform an exclusive set, which will also be streamed live to screens and billboards across the city, as well as on O2's social media channels. All tickets will be available from O2 Priority at www.o2priority.co.uk/tickets. O2 customers will have the opportunity to get their tickets 48 hours before general release.


Topics: O2 Carriers

Reader comments

O2 in the UK to switch on 4G at the end of August


By the way, Telefonica O2 Germany leaked a document where they say that will dump their corporate BlackBerry and will use Nokia devices. The reason, they will save €250K (seriously!?), and their mail and office integration is better than android or iPhone (what!??). As if BlackBerry 10 was not the best solution for their situation...saving 250K in a billions company, seriously?

Posted via CB10

Nokia + Microsoft (With System Center 2012). Remember it will be cheaper to support an Exchange server and manage users (and devices) through Active Directory because that's already there and running. Unlike BES10 that they need to install it in a separate server, that IS NOT compatible with previous BES (so you can't use OS5, 6 or 7 devices with it).

I deff have to give this one to Nokia (my other favourite brand).

Oh, and people expect all other beaches of telefónica move to Nokia....

Posted via CB10

freaking awesome, EE is a damn rip off... I'm currently paying £46 for the unlimited everything plus 3GB of capped data (yeah, it defies the whole purpose of having 4G so when I use the whole 3GB, it simply stops working)...

£26 sounds more reasonable. I really want to see an unlimited everything (SMS, CALLS, DATA) plans.

£20 a month on O2 simplicity gets me unlimited any network calls, unlimited texts and 1GB of included data so there's a little improvement needed yet but no one is going to offer truly unlimited data in the near future

Well I for one as an O2 customer will not be rushing in and a quote like "The full potential of 4G is as yet unexplored..." is as good as saying we don't know what it's good for or what to do with it either.

Brilliant news - EE pricing is atrocious!

I second wanting to see an all you can eat type package - would be interested to see the full pricing structure!

Posted via CB10 on my BlackBerry Q10

Work Z10 is EE....service is s****. It was equally bad with Orange before contract changed to EE.
Here's the rub......personal Z10 with T-Mobile UK and has been for over 15 years with rarely a problem.
TM and O merge, I ignore all requests to join EE and still personal phone is brill.
As soon as logo changed to EE a month or two ago, personal line starts to deteriorate from what it was although it is still vastly superior to work line.
If the two are now one with the better service, how come mine is better but still worse than it was???

Good luck O2 customers!!! Hopefully your service WILL get better unlike mine.

Posted via CB10 from my Z10

Nowhere is really included in the initial switch on 29th August, just London and Leeds & Bradford. There are no confirmed dates for the other cities and regions mentioned. It will all come in time.

I live in Leeds, Britain's 3rd largest city, and to me it is not "nowhere".
It has been interesting to see iPhone 5 owners blaming O2 for the fact that their phones will not be compatible with O24G. If BlackBerry, Samsung, Sony, Nokia and HTC all have phones that will be compatible with O24G, then they should be asking Apple, not O2, why their's isn't.

I am on O2 Near Bath,UK so how far will 800mhz travel?If and when they get it set up in Bath wonder if i will get it,strange but i have been getting H+ lately in the village and at work never got that before,At the mo my Z10 is £22 a month for 300 mins TX unlimited and 500mb of data.I take it that £26 is the starting price for the 4G.

im on tmobile my signal goes about every hspa + 3g then g all on one street O_o cant make up its mind i guess but as my previous comment says i hope o2 is gonna do pays you go 4g sims unlike ee dont fancy 44 quid contracts for decent data even if its sim only

Just upgraded a few months back paying £36 for 1gb unlimited plan! Go over 1gb within 10 days!!

Does anyone know how existing customers will stand with upgrading to 4G? I still have 18 months remaining!!

Posted via CB10

This O2 customer would like decent 2G or maybe even 3G coverage from home. I don't think 4G is going to be of interest for some time yet.

Posted via CB10

From what I have read EE can handle more data on 1800 hz than 800 hz so even though 02 can travel further it will be slower as more peeps use 4g... I am a happy user of 4g on EE even though sometime the reception drops now and then but the service I have received since signing up with them in feb 13 is second to none... plus I have double speed on 4g and it's like wow speed downloads...

Sent by Bbry Z10

Existing O2 Customers:
Okay, from what I've seen, they're very very careful about what they're saying BUT they have said this

"4G on O2 will be available to all new and existing customers on a range of tariffs from £26 a month... The 4G tariff starts from £26 a month, it's not on top of your existing tariff and you don't have to break your existing contract when you change to a 4G tariff. More details later this month." - Source: http://news.o2.co.uk/2013/08/01/o2s-4g-network-to-switch-on-from-29th-au...

Seems a bit confusing. Hope that it helps... ish.

I'm not sure that this is 100% true. Vodafone have on their website stated the following:

We spent a cool £790m in Ofcom's recent auction of radio frequency spectrum, and picked up a third of the crucial low frequency (800MHz), plus the higher-frequency spectrum to boost our existing network.

It all means that when we launch our ultra-fast 4G service later this year our 4G signal will be stronger and more reliable in the places you want to use it most. And we’ll bring our signal to a host of new areas through our commitment to 98% indoor coverage across the UK in the next few years.



Posted via CB10