The operator will launch 4G services in London, Leeds and Bradford on 29 August and further roll out the services to 13 cities in total by the end of 2013, providing speeds of up to five times faster than its existing 3G services, it claims.
O2 has launched an introductory scheme both in its retail outlets and on its social media channels, which runs with the hashtag #O24G, to encourage early sign ups to its 4G tariffs, which will begin at £26 per month.
Further details of the network roll out and full range of 4G tariffs will be revealed by O2 in the coming months.
Ronan Dunne, O2 CEO, says: “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.”
EE has since been quick to point out via its social and PR channels that its 4G tariffs (for SIM-only customers) begin at a lower price than O2’s proposed offering, and that its 4G network has been in operation since last year, plus it will cover 60 per cent of the UK population by the close of August.
Vodafone is also expected to launch its 4G offering this year but has not yet confirmed an exact date beyond ”late summer”. Three UK has not yet set a date, but has confirmed it will not charge its customers extra for 4G services.