O2 has unveiled a range of tariffs and a few perks that it will offer come the big 29 August 4G switch on, although the operator appears to have struggled to match Vodafone’s fanfare.
O2’s 12-month 4G SIM-only packages start at £26 for 1GB of data – that’s one less than Vodafone’s opening deal – and go up to £36 a month with 5GB of data. Vodafone’s top SIM-only plan offers 8GB for £36. Additional bolt-ons will cost £6 for 500MB and £10 for 1GB from O2.
Standard 4G plans include the opportunity to switch your phone at a whim, called O2 Refresh, and for a 24-month contract, prices start at £22 a month for 1GB of data and go up to £37 for 8GB. There are ‘additional charges’ for the different devices on offer of between £10 and £25 per month – so people will end up paying upwards of £32 per month for the cheapest 4G plan. O2 says it will have 10 handsets to choose from, Vodafone has just three, with neither currently offering 4G on iPhone.
If people sign up quickly for an O2 Refresh contract of 3GB or more, they will get additional free data for the duration of it. Existing O2 customers that don’t have a 4G handset but want to upgrade will get 25 per cent of the contract buyout cost paid by O2. O2 customers can also trade in their old device for up to £300. Vodafone says it will knock 75 per cent off the remaining contract charges if people have an iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S3 or a Galaxy Note 2 and want to upgrade.
O2 hasn’t managed to secure the launch partnerships that Vodafone has – which include Sky and Spotify. It does however offer 12 month’s free access to O2 4G Tracks, with music and video from the top 40, as well as Priority Sports content. The company has also secured a deal with Gameloft for O2 customers to play some popular mobile games without using up their data.
O2 customers also get free access to 9,000 O2 wi-fi hotspots and can sign up for Priority Moments. O2 will launch 4G for pay-as-you-go customers before the end of the year.
Written for Mobile Marketing Magazine and published here: http://www.mobilemarketingmagazine.com/content/o2-reveals-4g-tariffs-and-perks#ArWvYk5BZeCJoVUS.99
Vodafone has announced that it will be launching its 4G network on exactly the same day as rival O2, revealing a range of tariffs, benefits and milestones in a bid to outdo its fellow operator.
Although it has only promised a London launch on 29 August – compared to O2’s additional Leeds and Bradford – is says it will have 12 more cities live by the end of the year, where O2 pledged 10. After London, launches in Birmingham, Bradford, Coventry, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield are expected from Vodafone before the end of the year.
EE, O2 and Vodafone have all promised 4G coverage for 98 per cent of the UK population, with EE committing to the end of 2014, Vodafone to the end of 2015 and O2 not yet venturing a date. While O2 limited its detail on customer deals, Vodafone has fully outlined plans for its 24-month, 12-month and SIM-only ‘Red 4G-ready’ payment options.
All Vodafone Red 4G-ready plans come with either Sky Sports Mobile TV or Spotify Premium, plus unlimited calls and texts. They also have unlimited data for the first three months, followed by either 2GB, 4GB or 8GB per month – double the standard allowance on Vodafone’s standard plans. Vodafone’s 24-month plans start at £34 with a handset, while 12-month plans start at £52.
Anyone on a standard Vodafone Red contract that has a 4G-ready device can upgrade for £5 to get Spotify Premium or Sky Sports Mobile TV, double the amount of data and get 4G access. Customers who have a 4G-ready device can get SIM-only deals from £26 a month for 12 months, costing £3 more than EE’s lowest deal, while offering 2GB of data and the free perks for six months, before a charge is added to their plan.
Vodafone is also offering a range of 4G tablet plans, starting at £31 per month for the eight-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab 3, or the Sony Xperia Tablet Z at £37 per month.
Vodafone spent considerably more acquiring its spectrum than O2 – £802m compared to £550m – which it says is down to buying both low-frequency for going further and working better indoors, as well as high-frequency spectrum, giving it greater capacity in densely populated urban areas.
Written for Mobile Marketing Magazine and published here: http://www.mobilemarketingmagazine.com/content/vodafone%E2%80%99s-4g-showdown-o2-29-august#MvgpXmPybOxWLx7g.99
3 has reported a record £1bn revenue for the first half of 2013, with operating profit more than tripling from the same period last year, up to £86m from £26m.
The company has added 697,000 customers during this time – 168,000 of them in Q2, 2013 – with many opting for the operator’s all-you-can-eat 3G contracts.
Revenue from calls, texts and data reported in the company’s H1 earnings remained flat at £667m – despite CEO David Dyson revealing in June that data usage per person had increased from 1.1GB to 1.8GB every month – but handset revenue increased 30 per cent to £321m in H1.
In a bid to offer greater transparency, 3 has changed the way it measures its customer base, for the first time counting only active accounts used in the last 90 days, of which there are 7.5m, as opposed to the number of people registered with the company in total. This might give the impression that the operator has lost 1.7m customers since it reported Q1 results in March – but these are likely to be prepaid customers who are no longer using their SIM.
The UK’s newest mobile operator, which struggled from 2003 until 2010 to turn a profit, will be shifting its attention to using 4G spectrum allocation by the end of this year. “We’re on track to launch in Q4 and we will offer 4G at no extra charge,” said Guy Middleton, head of corporate communications at 3. “When we switch on our 4G network well over a million of our customers will already have a 4G device, so they will get automatic and hassle-free access in 4G areas without the need to change plans or SIM cards. Everyone on 3 with a 4G device will be able to enjoy our 4G services as we roll out the network across the country to add capacity to what is already the UK’s fastest 3G network.”
The company says its dual carrier 3G network is already 100 times faster than it was when it launched in the UK and claims that its customers might already see speeds in excess of 20MBps. Ofcom considers speeds above 6MBps as a 4G experience. 3’s CEO stated in June that the operator is looking to ensure it has enough capacity rather than headline speeds when its 4G service goes live.
Written for Mobile Marketing Magazine and published here: http://www.mobilemarketingmagazine.com/content/3-go-4g-q4#1QMoJgblFZDXKdkl.99
O2 has announced its 4G switch on date, with London, Leeds and Bradford the first cities to be covered when the service launches on 29 August. Having spent nearly a full year becoming increasingly overcome with fatEEgue, O2’s announcement could not come a moment too soon.
But it is clear that the second operator to go live with superfast broadband has a lot of catching up to do – EE has already signed up 500,000 customers and its network covers 55 per cent of the population. After launch, O2 has promised 10 more cities by the end of the year: Birmingham, Newcastle, Glasgow, Liverpool, Nottingham, Leicester, Coventry, Sheffield, Manchester and Edinburgh.
Although O2 has announced plans to match EE’s commitment to reach 98 per cent of the population – and has highlighted that its valuable 800MHz frequency will ensure the service works ‘both indoor and outdoor’ – the company has not yet ventured a deadline for this. EE has pledged to reach 98 per cent of people by the end of 2014, and owns 36 per cent of the country’s total 4G spectrum compared to O2’s 15 per cent.
Tariffs will start at £26 per month – most likely a SIM-only, 500MB-data option akin to the £23 option EE introduced in May – with pay-as-you-go and business packages on the way. EE already has 2,000 UK businesses, including the likes of Renault and Ikea, on its books.
In a clear drive to differentiate itself, O2 has announced a mystery live launch performance at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire to coincide with the switch on, with early-bird ticketing on offer for its Priority Moments customers. 4G customers will also be able to get a free, year-long music package when they sign up direct with O2.
O2 says it spent £550m to secure one of the highest proportions of the lowest frequency spectrum as it travels further and can move better through solid objects. Data usage by its 22.9m existing UK customers has already more than doubled in the last twelve months, the company said. EE, which formed in 2010 from Orange and T-Mobile, revealed it has 27.5m customers in its last earnings call.
Written for Mobile Marketing Magazine and published here: http://www.mobilemarketingmagazine.com/content/o2-4g-switch-29-august#bOOEGeCZ8ujVtR4b.99