Following its announcement a couple of weeks ago, British carrier O2 has now detailed the costs of its 4G tariffs on its website, with airtime plans starting from £22 (around $34) monthly. The plans, which all include unlimited calling minutes and texts to any British network, include either 1 GB, 3 GB or 5 GB of data, with extra available to users who sign up before the end of October.

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.

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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.

Top Rated Comments

Mums Avatar
114 months ago
I wish they'd just get rid of data limits.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
OllyW Avatar
114 months ago
I remember when 4G was being rolled out here in the States. There were posts in here mocking and criticizing how long it had taken to roll out 4G in the US. England is much smaller, yet only now rolling out 4G offerings.

Why is 4G service only being deployed now in England? Did they decide to use a different technology, bureaucracy, what? I'm sincerely curious.

We've had to wait for the analogue TV transmitters to be shut down to free up the bandwidth for 4G.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
daneoni Avatar
114 months ago
Thanks but no thanks.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Primus84 Avatar
114 months ago
In addition what some US carriers called 4G is called 3G in the UK - for example HSDPA and HSPA+.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
noshjewman Avatar
114 months ago
I just looked at the O2 handset prices, and I don't understand the economics. It seems that if you pay for the handset up front, it costs you £600. If you pay for it over the 2 years of your contact, you only pay £480.

You can't get out of your airtime contact (I'm not even sure if death exempts you!) So why on earth are you penalized for giving them more money up front?

On a completely different subject, also involving my lack of understanding - why is it taking so long for any network to offer 4G in Cambridge? It's pretty close to London, it's commuter land, it's as big as other 2nd or 3rd tier towns EE has gone to, and it's probably the country's tech /mobile centre (ARM+ inventors of Bluetooth+Microsoft Research+ more)
Strange choices...
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
0x0x0x0 Avatar
114 months ago

Personally I'm waiting for '3' to release their 4G/LTE plans: they're typically far better for price and provide genuinely unlimited data tariffs unlike the other providers.

I'm guessing they're gonna have to rename themselves to '4' now? :D
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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