O2 announces 4G launch tariffs for businesses and consumers

O2 has detailed tariffs for its new 4G network, which goes live at the end of the month.

The mobile operator will launch its next-gen network with a range of tariffs for businesses and consumers that it hopes will put it in competition with 4G rivals Vodafone and EE.

O2's own-brand online offerings run the risk of seeming like a budget alternative to consumers.

The operator has previously said that SIM-only tariffs would start from 26 a month but has now given more details on what customers will receive for their money, as well as information on other tarrifs.

Entry-level SIM-only customers will get 1GB of data per month as well as unlimited calls and texts. Heavy data users can get 5GB of data for 31 per month and 8GB for 36.

If customers need additional data, they will be contacted about bolt-ons, which will be available at 6 for 500MB and 10 for 1GB.

The 26 deal puts O2's offering on par with EE's, but Vodafone's offer of 2GB per month for 26 works out a better deal.

Customers who want a phone included through the operator's O2 Refresh scheme can get a deal starting at 22 a month for 1GB of data, going up to 37 for 8GB. Separate payment for the device will range from 10 to 25, depending on which phone users choose. At present, this won't include the iPhone 5 as it does not currently work on the frequencies O2 has.

O2 4G Pay&Go and mobile broadband tariffs will launch before the end of the year, with the company promising more details soon.

The operator is also giving away some freebies in a bid to lure punters to its network. O2 Tracks will be completely free for the first 12 months for some customers and features the Official UK Top 40 Singles Chart as well as playlists and videos. There is also free Priority Sports videos including weekly content from sportspeople offering training advice, fitness and nutrition tips and interviews.

The mobile firm is also throwing in a few games for good measure.

According to uSwitch.com's mobile expert Ernest Doku, O2's offering is rather lacking in comparison to rivals.

"While Vodafone has brought big names like Sky Sports and Spotify to the 4G table, O2's own-brand online offerings run the risk of seeming like a budget alternative to consumers," he said. "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."

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.