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O2 to roll out 4G coverage later this month

O2, one of the UK’s leading mobile service providers, is set to follow rival firm EE by launching its 4G network on 29th August.

The mobile data connection service, which is said to offer greater speeds than the existing 3G network, will be rolled out gradually across the country, with the residents of Leeds, Bradford and London set to benefit first. O2 has said, however, that it is aims to add another 10 cities to the list by the end of 2013.

EE, which was formed after Orange and T-Mobile merged in 2010, is currently the only network in the UK to offer 4G to mobile users and does so in 95 cities.

As well as this, it is already offering a 4G-inclusive tariff at a lower cost than O2, which has said that its basic plan will cost users £26 a month. EE’s cheapest offering, which covers data only, costs just £15. It isn’t yet known, however, what O2’s deal will include.

The launch of 4G has been met with mixed reactions from the UK’s smartphone loving public. While it is thought to work well in bigger cities, such as London and Manchester, many of those in smaller towns are still struggling to see the benefits. It can also only be used on compatible handsets – a category which very few current devices fall into.

In areas with full coverage, users are now able to access data-demanding content and large files with speeds a little closer to those provided by permanent broadband connections.

Once the technology becomes more widespread and the downloading of video and software becomes even more convenient for busy consumers, it is expected that businesses will start providing more immersive content for users. Here at Pressroom, we are certainly interested to see exactly what this will entail.

Graeme has experience creating content for online sources and for the radio, and at university he studied Multimedia Journalism.

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