O2 UK announces August 29 4G switch-on, in time for the next iPhone

The UK finally has a date for the next 4G LTE launch, coming from carrier O2, and it's August 29. On this date, the first rival to EE's current 4G offering, will flip the switch initially in just three locations; London, Leeds and Bradford. This is expected to expand to 10 cities across the country by the end of 2013. For iPhone owners though, it's no dice. The current iPhone 5 won't be compatible. But, the next one hopefully will be.

The iPhone 5 here in the UK works just fine on the 1800MHz spectrum run by EE for their 4G network, but O2 will be running their LTE on the 800MHz spectrum. So, while current owners won't be able to switch to one of the O2 4G tariffs, things should be OK when the next iPhone comes around hopefully later this year. O2 is launching prior to any new iPhone release, while rival carrier Vodafone has already discussed the lack of a compatible iPhone as one of their reasons for delaying their own LTE launch.

The bad news is; it'll be expensive. While ultimately competition will help drive the prices back down to reasonable levels, O2 will be offering packages starting at £26 per month. That's £5 more than rival EE's cheapest tariff. But, it's great news that things are progressing, and that when the next iPhone drops customers will have another option to get their 4G on. Any O2 customers excited for this? Or maybe you'd consider switching to get on O2's 4G?

Source: BBC

Richard Devine

Senior Editor at iMore, part time racing driver, full time British guy

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There are 3 comments. Add yours.

maverick78 says:

Ill be waiting for 3 to switching their UK 4G service towards the end of the year. 3 have already stated that they ate not going to restrict 4G data usage and they're not going to increase existing tariff prices. The 3 4G network will also be compatible with the current iphone 5

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culabula says:

Or continue to use Three's excellent "3.9G" network -I already get speeds of over 17 megs from them as it stands....

jdcgeovani says:

Same here, i get roughly on average 15meg which is pretty quick. bring on the 4G.