You may recall earlier this month we mentioned that O2 was set to launch its 4G network within the UK on August 29. August 29 is officially here and O2 has indeed flip the switch and turned 4G on for its customers. However, O2 isn't the only wireless carrier in the UK it's turned on 4G connectivity today.
O2 UK has revealed its 4G LTE plans, giving carrier EE some competition for high-speed data. The new O2 4G service will go live on August 29, initially in London, Leeds, and Bradford, the FT reports, with the three cities being followed by a further ten before the end of 2013, the carrier has promised. The cheapest O2 LTE tariff will be £26 ($40) per month, though O2 is yet to detail exactly what that will include.
Microsoft has been pushing to get Windows Phone 8 recognized as the "third ecosystem", insisting that carriers and consumers alike both want another alternative to iOS and Android, and now it has some vocal support from O2 parent Telefonica. The new announcement promises an "enhanced marketing effort" between the two companies, which will apparently see Telefonica boost promotion for Windows Phone handsets in six of its key markets.
O2 Ireland has been sold to Three parent Hutchison Whampoa Group, in an €850m ($1.1bn) deal that will see Three surge in subscribers to around 2m active users. O2 Ireland parent Telefonica described the deal as part of its "proactive management" [pdf link] of its portfolio, with the payment used to offset the carrier's financial situation, which dropped 1.6-percent year on year in Telefonica's most recent financials.
If you compare mobile plans in the US to mobile plans available in the UK, it's clear that most of the time mobile phone users in the UK are able to get much better deals. UK carrier O2 has announced a new tariff that promises to allow customers to get the latest phone whenever they want. That means there's no more worrying that when you buy that new Android device, something better will launch six months down the road.
UK fans of the Nokia Lumia 620 smartphone can get device on a special deal from O2 for one day only. The wireless carrier is offering the device at a special one-day price of £119.99, which is a £30 discount off the normal cost. The special deal is good Wednesday, February 13 only while supply lasts.
Telecoms regulator Ofcom has announced the seven bidders in the UK 4G spectrum auction, with the process itself set to kick off in January 2013 and networks potentially switching on midway through next year. Vodafone, Hutchinson 3G (aka Three), and Telefonica (aka O2), are all among the bidders, as well as Everything Everywhere which is currently the only UK network to offer commercial LTE service through its EE brand.
The LG Nexus 4 will land exclusively on O2 in the UK, the carrier has announced, with the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean smartphone set to hit stores on Tuesday, November 13. Launched on Monday - you can check out our hands-on here - the Nexus 4 runs the latest version of Android on a quadcore Snapdragon S4 processor, with a 4.7-inch LCD display and 8-megapixel camera.
UK carrier O2 has taken on Square, VeriPhone, and others in the mobile payments space with a new smartphone-enabled system targeted at small businesses and independent vendors. O2 mPOS (Mobile Point of Sale) is a compact chip & PIN terminal that hooks up via Bluetooth to a smartphone or tablet running the companion processing app, and allows for card payments no matter if the vendor isn't even an O2 customer.