A technology analyst at Ovum has put the boot into O2, saying that just 30 per cent of its UK network will be EDGE-ready in time for the UK launch of the iPhone on Friday 9 November.

"We think that this is simply inadequate and will frustrate a lot of users who take their iPhone to their parents' house in, for example Cornwall, at Christmas and say 'look how great this is for web browsing'," Martin Garner, Ovum's director for wireless intelligence, told Macworld UK.

Garner says users won't necessarily be helped by free access to The Cloud's Wi-Fi network either. Coverage is extremely limited in rural areas on the UK mainland, and completely non-existent in Northern Ireland.