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O2 – Mobile Broadband Provider

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O2 broadband customers benefit from free 24 hour-a-day, award-winning UK-based customer support, double-strength wireless routers and flexible contracts from just 30 days. Optional extras with O2 broadband include a range of inclusive call packages, static IP addresses and monthly discounts for existing O2 mobile customers.

About O2

O2 are part of one of the world's largest telecommunications provider businesses, Telefonica Europe, which developed from BT when its mobile phone interests were divested at the start of the 2000s. At the time their operations were limited to mobile phone services and an internet portal in the UK. Since then O2 has been taken over by the Spanish operator, Telefonica, and the O2 brand operates in a number of countries around the world, with the company now being a strong player in the landline broadband internet market as well as its traditional mobile focus.

With the advent of 3G technology, the company has been able to combine its interests in mobile phones and fixed line broadband to offer 'mobile' broadband. This does not refer to the internet services available via the company's mobile phones, rather it is a service allowing customers to access the internet from a personal computer using a mobile internet modem via O2's 3G mobile network, which offers the transfer of more data than the previous 2G mobile network. This is the same technology that is used to deliver services such as video telephony to mobile phones.

The company currently offers four different options for those seeking mobile broadband services. The most straightforward option is the 'pay as you go' service, which works in a similar way to pay as you go mobile phone arrangements. This allows you to buy a 'bundle' of usage in advance without being tied down to a contract. The bundle will include a certain amount of download usage (e.g. 0.5GB, 1GB or 3GB), which must be used within a set period (e.g. one day, one week or one month respectively for the download usages given).

The pay as you go option requires you to purchase a USB modem, which plugs into your PC or Mac, and is necessary to enable your computer to receive mobile broadband data, unless the computer already has Wi Fi connectivity built in. This is currently around £30 from O2, and features 'plug and play' functioning, with minimal set up required.

If you expect to use mobile broadband a lot, then pay monthly contracts are available. Many providers only offer these on long term contracts, and indeed, O2's best packages are typically on its 18 month and 24 month deals, which currently feature the same download usage (3GB or 10GB, depending on monthly price) at cut price for the first few months, and also include a free USB modem. In the past the firm has also offered additional usage for longer term packages for the same cost.

However, as has been the trend with mobile packages, the firm is hoping to attract those who expect to use the service regularly but do not want such a long term commitment and, therefore, O2 also offer monthly 'rolling' contracts.

This arrangement means that customers can choose to leave the service at any time, and only have to pay for the remainder of that month's fee, whilst benefiting from better prices than the pay and go arrangement. O2 also offers packages that include a wireless laptop, for anybody looking to upgrade their computer at the same time, whilst separate tariffs are available for business users.

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