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O2 Review

O2 was formed back in 1985 by John Carrington and originally known as Cellnet, a joint venture between BT and Securicor. In 1999 BT bought out the rest of the company and it was then rebranded as BT Cellnet. In 2002 the company was rebranded again, this time to O2. Today O2 are wholly owned by Telefónica (one of the largest private telecommunications companies in the world). O2 in the UK is the number two mobile telecommunications provider and provides the infrastructure for others such as Tesco Mobile.

The tariffs on O2 are similar in terms of price to the other mobile networks although some comparisons on certain contracts do place them at the higher end of the price spectrum. Especially when you compare them to the cheaper virtual mobile networks such as Virgin, Giffgaff or Tesco, however on some tarrifs, such as the Simplicity tariff, they are very competitive.

In terms of network quality quality, O2 have a reliable 2G network with good reception in the UK, frustratingly their 3G network only covers 80% of the country which lags seriously behind competitors. If you live in a part of the UK which is outside their 3G network, then O2 is probably the worst network for you in terms of data transfers and download. O2 definitely requires further investment in their 3G network infrastructure. It is also worth noting that O2 pay-as-you-go customers have throttled data connection speeds compared to monthly contract customers. So if you plan to use 3G a lot, for instance if you are planning on video streaming, music downloads or even a lot of web browsing, it is imperative you check the coverage in your area.

O2 for PAYG customers can one of the more expensive UK networks, some PAYG prices are 25p per minute for calls and texts at 12p each. Internet costs £1 per day for 100MB and 0800 calls are charged at 15p per minute. SIM-only deals from O2 are much more competitive and some offer unlimited texts. The most tempting deals from O2 include O2 Unlimited where if you top-up £15 you get unlimited calls and unlimited texts to other O2 customers. Alternatively, the Simplicity rate gives you unlimited texts each month for £7.50. They do also offer a unique plan offering is unlimited calls to other O2 mobiles and UK landlines from a chosen postcode, but this costs £30 per month.

Pay monthly tariffs from O2 can offer good value with their "Bolt Ons" such as data allowances for smartphones, talk minutes and inclusive texts. Available on a variety of handsets ranging from £10.50 to £57.00 per month.

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