O2 Confirms UK Launch Date for 4G Services

O2 has announced that it will launch LTE based 4G services at the end of this month, on the 29th August.

The coverage will be initially limited to parts of three cities — London, Leeds and Bradford, and the company said that in places speeds would be slower than its rival EE, who has deployed Dual-Carrier capacity in some parts of the UK by reframing its 1800 MHz spectrum.

Vodafone and Three are still waiting to launch their 4G networks.

O2 also said that its base-line tariff would start at £26 per month for LTE services, although it did not elaborate on what usage allowances that would include. The company has already ruled out an unlimited data tariff option though.

At launch, the network in the three cities will reach around 5 million people, and the company plans to boost coverage by some 2 million people per week though the rest of the year. It aims to reach 98% of the population by the end of 2015 that is two-years faster than their 4G license requires.

The network will be available on the 800 MHz spectrum only initially, which may restrict the availability of handsets that run on the more popular 2.6 GHz spectrum, but the company said that the handset roadmap is likely to improve over time. The company could also start reframing some of its 3G spectrum for LTE services as capacity is released by heavy data users migrating to the new network.

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