Why iPhone users are out of luck with O2's 4G plans

"We're moving very quickly [when it comes to deploying 4G]. EE had the luxury of being able to use the spectrum it already had to launch early, but we had to wait until the auction and then wait [for the spectrum we won] to be cleared.


"We don't want to get into the speed debate because it will just bamboozle customers. We want to give them a great experience – I always question headline numbers. What our customers will get is a massive step up in speed."

Obviously O2 will try and have consumers believe there's little difference between it and EE's 4G offerings, but thanks to being able to offer 4G from last year, EE was able to bring the service at launch to more cities and has since been able to increase speeds in a number of locations.

Three is still the dark horse in the 4G race: with its pledge to offer 4G at no extra cost to its subscribers, anyone that wants faster speeds and doesn't care about free music or films or some cloning ability will be running to get the next generation of mobile internet for a lot cheaper each month.

However, we're still yet to see the full range of Three's 4G price plans, so while the pledge sounds wonderful in theory, we're going to wait to reserve judgement there.

But back to O2: how will it solve the iPhone conundrum for those that don't want to have to upgrade to a Samsung or HTC device, preferring to stay with the familiar iOS device?

McManus hopes salvation isn't too far away:

"If whatever [Apple announces next] is a market-driven device, then it would be illogical for a new iPhone to not [be able to connect to 800MHz frequencies]."

There's no doubt consumers are going to be hit with a barrage of messaging around 4G this summer as the service goes properly online from all the networks, but for anyone ready to look a bit deeper at the faster speeds on offer it will be interesting to see how each goes about playing to the strengths of the spectrum it invested millions in nabbing.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.