Just like EE and Vodafone, O2’s cheapest 12-month 1GB SIM-only price plan will be offered at £26 per month and packages will go up to £36 per month for 5GB of data. Customers wanting additional data can purchase bolt-ons, available at £6 for 500MB and £10 for 1GB.
Customers looking to purchase a 4G package with a compatible device will be charged from £32 per month. Airtime packages will be cheaper for those on the O2 Refresh tariff, which will give customers the chance to obtain the latest device whenever they want from £22 per month for 1GB plus an added surcharge ranging from £10 to £25 for their smartphone.
O2 is encouraging customers to sign up early by offering them extra data if they apply for an upgrade before 31 October. It is also offering an extra incentive by agreeing to pay customers up to £300 off their remaining contract fee if they trade in their handset under its O2 Recycle offer.
The operator has also launched a 90-day “Happiness Guarantee”, which will see O2 transfer dissatisfied customers back to an equivalent 3G tariff with a bill credit of up to £15.
Earlier this month Vodafone announced deals with Sky and Spotify to lure customers to its network, while EE has also promoted its content offering with Deezer, games downloads and access to live TV channels to attract consumers over to its service. O2 is also offering 4G customers exclusive access to content, across music, sport and gaming as added extras to their tariffs.
It will offer 4G users 12-months free access to its O2 Tracks Top 40 Singles Chart download service, now with added video. This will come alongside free access to its existing Priority Sports app, which has also been upgraded to include video from the England rugby squad, Twickenham Stadium and NBA basketball at the O2 Arena. The content offer will also include access to play leading titles from Gameloft – such as Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour and Asphalt 8: Airbone – without gameplay eating into customers’ data allowance.
Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at uSwitch.com, says: ”Vodafone has bought big names like Sky Sports and Spotify to the 4G table, [so] O2’s own-brand online offerings run the risk of seeming like a budget alternative to consumers. Without price tags for these services to easily justify the premium, O2 will need to prove that its own offerings are just as valuable as Vodafone’s tie-ins.
”While EE is all but certain to win in a race of superfast speeds – particularly with its recent doubling efforts – the shrewd pricing for those entering O2’s Refresh scheme and Vodafone’s A-list selection of entertainment perks certainly provides appealing aspects to each.”
O2 and Vodafone will both switch on their 4G services on 29 August.
Three has not yet set a date for its 4G switch-on, but has confirmed it will not charge customers extra for the service.
O2 has been building up to the launch with a major brand marketing campaign entitled “Be More Dog”.