O2 hopes to bring 4G launch forward after iPhone 5 release

O2 hopes to bring 4G launch forward after iPhone 5 release
It's a mast, Jim, but not as we know it

As if O2 wasn't already panicked enough about EE bagging a major 4G headstart, it is now rushing talks to get its own service up and running in light of the 4G iPhone 5 announcement.

"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.

From BBC

News Editor (UK)

Former UK News Editor for TechRadar, it was a perpetual challenge among the TechRadar staff to send Kate (Twitter, Google+) a link to something interesting on the internet that she hasn't already seen. As TechRadar's News Editor (UK), she was constantly on the hunt for top news and intriguing stories to feed your gadget lust. Kate now enjoys life as a renowned music critic – her words can be found in the i Paper, Guardian, GQ, Metro, Evening Standard and Time Out, and she's also the author of 'Amy Winehouse', a biography of the soul star.