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O2 sets launch date for 4G services

Telefónica UK’s O2 has announced that it is to launch 4G services in the UK and finally break EE’s monopoly in offering the technology.

O2 plans to launch the services in London, Leeds and Bradford on August 29 this year.


The company has been given permission from UK regulation to use its existing network for the service, and will be the first group to rival EE, which has been the only operator to offer 4G services in the UK until now.

Vodafone and Three are set to join the 4G battle later this year, and although initially only rolling out the service to three towns, O2 expects to connect a further 10 cities by the year end.

Ronan Dunne, chief executive of Telefónica UK, told reporters that O2’s service is designed to match EE’s launch speed, and also believes that the scale of 4G has not yet been reached.

He promised that O2 would be “thinking a lot bigger” than just increased download speeds, and would be focussing on “bringing to life the digital experience”.

Despite the difficult challenge of levelling with EE – which earlier this month doubled the speed of its 4G service – O2 has the advantage of being the first operator to launch 4G services on the 800MHz band, which analysts have deemed ideal for mobile data traffic.

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