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O2 reviews

O2 is the second largest mobile operator in the UK (after EE) with a market share of around 26%. It operates its own 3G and 4G networks, allows tethering and offers free public wi-fi in thousands of locations across the country.

O2 offers all the latest mobile phones on pay monthly contracts and pay-as-you-go plans, and also has a selection of SIM-only plans if you’re happy with your current handset. Our reviews look at O2’s packages and contracts in finer detail.

All provider packages

O2 pay-as-you-go

3.4

Free

O2 pay-as-you-go
O2 SIM-only

3.4

£10

O2 SIM-only

About O2

O2 is a mobile phone network which was rebranded from BT Cellnet in 2002, and is now owned by the Telefónica group. O2 has shops on the high street and operates its own network as opposed to piggybacking on that of another provider. It offers a variety of handsets and SIM-only deals on 4G and 3G.

Plans and payment options

O2 has mobile phone deals on pay monthly contracts, where you pay off the cost of your new handset over a period of 24 months; SIM-only, where you only pay for your data, calls and minutes; and pay-as-you-go (PAYG), where you only pay for what you use. For getting tablets and laptops connected to the internet, O2 also has mobile broadband packages, dongles and data-only SIMs.

A great range of handsets

O2 has a great selection of handsets featuring the latest models from Apple, Samsung, Nokia and HTC, all of which can be tested by visiting one of O2’s shops. The cost of a handset is spread over 24 months and paying an upfront fee can reduce the monthly repayments. Once you’ve selected your phone, you can choose a tariff with the right amount of data, texts and minutes.

Availability

O2 operates its own network and offers both 3G and 4G data speeds. According to the most recent Ofcom report on O2’s mobile coverage, its 3G signal covers 98% of all UK premises, while its 4G signal covers 97%. If you want to confirm whether you can receive an O2 connection, you can check your coverage with O2’s coverage checker.

Speed

If you use your phone to browse the internet, download apps and stream videos, you’ll need a fast connection. O2 has both 3G and 4G SIMs, with 4G being the faster of the two.

According to the most recent Ofcom report looking at average speeds for mobile providers, O2’s 3G signal is 5Mbps, which is fast enough for browsing, updating social media and checking emails. Its 4G signal is 18Mbps, which is fast enough to stream videos and download music smoothly.

Extras

O2 has some attractive extra features that could save you some money and make your service go further.

O2 allows tethering

Tethering is when you use your mobile phone to act as a wireless router, enabling other devices to connect to the internet. Not all providers allow tethering, but O2 does on its pay monthly and SIM-only contracts.

Access to public wi-fi

O2 has a network of public wi-fi hotspots in thousands of bars, restaurants and shops throughout the country. Connecting to these hotspots will give you a faster internet connection on your phone, while not eating into your data allowance.

Good customer service

The most recent Ofcom survey found that O2 had the best customer service of the top five mobile providers with 80% overall customer satisfaction. O2 has a good highstreet presence as well, so if you have a problem with your phone or SIM you can speak face-to-face to one of O2’s in-store technical advisers, otherwise known as an O2 Guru.

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