O2 has let slip some more details of its tariffs for 4G services that will launch on 29 August, telling V3 that its entry-level £26 SIM-only service will offer more than 500MB of data.
Business director Ben Dowd told V3 that O2's £26 tariff would have more data than EE’s entry-level SIM-only tariff, which offers 500MB of data for £21 a month.
“We will be competitive with a whole range of tariffs that customers will be able to choose from," he said.
Dowd did not elaborate when pressed on what this would equate to, but it seems fair to assume it will be 1GB as this is the same as EE offers on its £26 plan.
While it is unsurprising that a more expensive tariff would offer more data, it is the first indication O2 has given as to how it is structuring its offering beyond the base price of £26.
When asked about specific speeds, Dowd said that it would be five times faster than current 3G speeds, but said customers were not that interested in numbers. “The reality is most customers don’t really have a clue about megabits,” he said.
Dowd also said that business specific plans would be announced in the future, and that for large enterprises pricing would likely be determined on a company-by-company basis.
“We recently held discussions with over 200 customers to get further insight on what they want from 4G and the consensus is that 2014 is when 4G will become a big deal, when they will start to deploy services,” he added.
O2 will launch its services on 29 August, and is likely to announce full pricing and tariffs at this point.
O2's entry into the 4G market will finally bring some competition to EE, and Steven Hartley, strategy analyst at Ovum, said although it would be tough for O2 to catch up, it could do well.
“EE has a considerable LTE coverage lead and a particularly strong spectrum position relative to O2. This is readily apparent in the fact that O2’s launch includes only three cities from the outset. Nonetheless, O2 has proven adept in the past at attracting customers in the fiercely competitive UK market,” he said.
Hartley cited the ’30 Day Happiness’ guarantee that lets customers move back to 3G for no charge if they don’t like 4G, as a good initiative to get customers testing out the new network.
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