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O2 to launch 4G network on August 29th – London, Leeds and Bradford first

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Come the end of this month EE will no longer be the only 4G network here in the UK. O2 has confirmed that it will be launching a high speed mobile network of its own, starting August 29th.

As EE has done, O2 will be gradually rolling out coverage across the country in stages. The first lucky three places to benefit from the network will be London, Leeds and Bradford. By the end of 2013, a further 10 cities will be added, taking the tally up to 13. That number will of course still be a long way off EE’s current standing of 95 towns and cities.

The network plans to roll out its 4G services to Birmingham, Glasgow, Liverpool, Nottingham, Leicester, Coventry, Sheffield, Manchester and Edinburgh before the year is out. By covering these densely populated cities first, the network can claim it provides for a higher percentage of the country earlier on in its campaign.

4G will be available for both new and existing customers, with those who have taken out contracts recently being able to upgrade mid-contract to a 4G phone and SIM – for a price, of course.

Being the first rivals for EE, O2 will be offering attractive and competitive prices. Contracts will start from £26, although O2 hasn’t confirmed exactly how much data – as well as minutes and texts – this entry level bundle will get you.

Another ploy it will use to draw customers away from EE is a 12 month pack of free music with new sign ups to the 4G service. We’re not yet sure exactly where the music will be coming from, but a whole year of downloads sure will sweeten the deal.

O2 and Vodafone entered into a strategic partnership to share resources and infrastructure with the idea of rolling out a shared network to as much of the country in as short a time as possible. Vodafone’s 4G network is rumoured to also be revealed within days and should launch at a similar time to O2’s.