Customers who also want to choose a new device have a range of options through O2 Refresh, which uniquely gives O2 customers the flexibility to get the latest device whenever they want. Airtime plans for O2 Refresh start from £22 a month for 1GB of data, and go up to £37 for 8GB. Customers have the flexibility to choose a 4G device at a price per month that suits them. The monthly device payment will range from £10 to £25, dependent on how a customer chooses to pay for one of over 10 4G-ready devices in O2’s range.
The new 4G plans also include a complementary 12-month subscription to O2 Tracks, the carrier's streaming music service, and feature "exclusive multiplayer online gaming" to try and entice users to sign up. Both EE and Vodafone, two other British carriers, also feature exclusive deals to new users who sign up to their 4G plans.
Vodafone became the third British carrier to announce 4G services a week ago and is planning to offer a promotional subscription to Spotify Premium and an exclusive deal with Sky Sports Mobile TV with its 4G plans, though there is no word yet on pricing. EE, which is currently the market leader in 4G services in the UK, offers a subscription to Deezer, a French streaming music service similar to Spotify, and free mobile TV with its higher-end 4G plans, which start from £41 (around $63) monthly.
The new tariffs from O2 are priced exactly the same as similar plans from EE, although O2 is currently featuring an introductory offer whereby users who sign up to the new plans before the end of October are treated to extra data for no additional cost. The carrier has also introduced a "4G Phone Promise", which allows iPhone 5 owners on O2 to upgrade their phone to a 4G-compatible phone at no extra cost, with the carrier covering 25% of the cost of the remaining line rental.
O2 is expected to launch its 4G network in London, Leeds and Bradford on August 29th, with a further 10 cities due to be switched on by the end of the year. The network has promised speeds of up to 6 times faster than existing 3G services on the recently-licensed 800 MHz spectrum – a frequency not supported by the iPhone 5. The incompatibility is likely to be rectified with the launch of the iPhone 5S, which is expected to be introduced on September 10.