"We are pushing hard on behalf of our customers," a spokesperson for O2 told the BBC. "We are hopeful we can come to some agreement to bring the current timeline forward."
Even if O2 can get Ofcom's spectrum auction underway and beat its own likely 4G release date of July 2013, its customers won't be able to use the iPhone to get 4G access; Apple's new wunderphone doesn't work with either the 800MHz or 2.6GHz spectrum bands that O2 can bid on.
There's always a but
But the iPhone 5 has set a lot of tongues wagging about 4G in the UK, and many previously unconcerned parties will start wondering why the other networks are lagging behind – not to mention EE's ability to offer the new iPhone at its fullest data speeds giving the network a massive edge.
O2 has already been outspoken on the subject of EE, saying that the headstart that EE has been given will exclude a lot of people from next-gen services.
In an attempt to dampen the EE iPhone 5 4G fire, O2 has also confirmed that it will offer its customers an early upgrade to a 4G device next year if they purchase the new iPhone now, allowing people to change handsets mid-way through their contract to take advantage of the super-fast network.
Article continues below