O2 has announced that it will be rolling out its 4G network in August, but only to citizens of Leeds, London and Bradford at first.
From August 29, people that live in London, Leeds and Bradford will all have access to the new O2 4G network, with tariffs starting at £26 per month.
Ten more cities will be added by the end of 2013, but actual switch-on dates for Birmingham, Newcastle, Glasgow, Nottingham, Leicester, Coventry, Sheffield, Manchester and Edinburgh have yet to be announced.
Initially the O2 4G network will cover 5 million people in the UK, but Ronan Dunne, CEO of O2, has pledged that 2 million additional UK citizens will have access to the network each month.
By the end of 2013, 98 per cent of the UK will be covered by the O2 2G, 3G and 4G networks.
“It’s a rapid rollout,” said Dunne. “We only got the spectrum at the end of May and this is all about configuring and optimising to ensure the best service.”
The basic O2 4G tariffs start at £26 per month, but the details of these tariffs are still unknown. These are more expensive than the basic £21 per month 4G SIM-only tariffs.
“It’s great that I am able to announce O2 4G the day after the spectrum has been cleared for use,” added Dunne. “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.”
Running on a lower band frequency than the 4GEE network, O2’s 4G network will run at the 800MHz frequency which is better suited for indoor use penetrating through buildings and covering wider areas. EE’s 4G radio frequency is better at providing higher speeds in highly populated areas.
“I believe that 4G is not only going to transform that way business work, but also how services are delivered to customers,” said Ben Dowd, Business Director at O2. “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.”
Existing O2 customers will be able to upgrade to 4G speeds for an additional monthly cost, but will not have to extend their contracts.
Next, read our review of 4G smartphone the Samsung Galaxy S4.