O2 is one of the UK’s longest established and most celebrated telecommunications companies. Founded in as Cellnet in 1985 by BT Mobile’s John Carrington as a joint subsidiary of British Telecom Cellular Radio and Telecom Securicor Radio Limited. By 1999, after years of cooperation and development, BT bought out O2 in full for a cost of £3.15 billion.
With 5 million customers at the time, it was soon rebranded as BT Cellnet, before spinning off into its own business, operating under the ‘O2’ brand from June, 2002. Finally, in 2005, the company would become part of the Telefonica brand, who retain ownership to this day.
Under their stewardship, O2 has become one of the biggest players in the mobile space in the UK – even launching the iPhone to the British public. However, today they offer a good deal more than just mobile phone contracts.
We speak, of course, about their work in the mobile broadband space. It’s a market competed in by the likes of Three and EE, but if you’re looking to join O2, you need to know their product range. Let’s dig in.
What are the devices on offer at O2?
O2’s mobile broadband options are underpinned by a range of hardware designed to suit every possible need. Here’s the five options current available for O2 mobile broadband customers, with all information correct as of January 2017:
Huawei 4G Pocket Hotspot: With built in battery, the Huawei 4G pocket hotspot doesn’t need to be plugged in to power your mobile devices. Able to power up to 10 devices at a time and with an average of 6 hours battery life before it needs a recharge, the Huawei 4G pocket hotspot makes a solid option for those looking to power multiple devices. £15.99 upfront.
Huawei 4G Pocket Hotspot Plus: An improved version of the pocket hotspot listed above, adding a built in USB cable for quick charging and a much larger battery, capable of going 20 hours of 4G without a charge. £19.99 upfront.
Huawei 4G Dongle: Plugs directly into your computer’s USB socket to provide a steady stream of 3G/4G data to your device. Free upfront.
Huawei 4G Dongle with WiFi: The same features as the 4G dongle, but now with the ability to broadcast a 3G/4G wireless signal for your other devices whilst plugged in to a computer. £11 upfront.
Huawei 4G In-Car WiFi: Imagine having fast WiFi, right in your car. That’s the promise of this device, which plugs into your car’s 12V cigarette socket and provides enough WiFi for everyone in the car to get on board. £9.99 upfront.
If you’re using an older version of Huawei’s mobile broadband tech, use the O2 Broadband contact number to talk about an upgrade.
What are the contract options?
All of O2s mobile broadband options are on a rolling monthly contract, and prices are correct for each device listed above, except the Huawei 4G In-Car WiFi and Huawei 4G Pocket Hotspot Plus which cost £1 and £2 more a month respectively. What follows are the O2 mobile broadband prices as of January, 2017:
- 500MB of 4G data – £6 a month
- 2GB of 4G data – £12 a month
- 10GB of 4G data – £16 a month
- 20GB of 4G data – £26 a month
Periodically, O2 will offer special deals on data, effectively doubling or tripling the amount of data you have a month. To check if there are any special offers currently active, use the O2 broadband contact number at 0843 770 0248 or check online.
O2 broadband customer satisfaction levels.
O2 don’t publish the number of complaints that they receive regarding their mobile broadband solutions, and because they aren’t a major broadband player, Ofcom weren’t able to draw enough information about them to include them in their Q3 analysis for 2016.
We do, however, have overall complaint per 100,000 numbers for O2. On average, O2 received 3 complaints per 100,000 customers. That’s half as many as the industry average, and well below the company with the most complaints – Vodafone, on 18 per 100,000.
In comparison to other mobile networks who offer broadband, only Three could match O2s customer complaints levels.