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O2 UK Introduce 4G Mobile Broadband Options with Small Data Caps

Friday, Nov 15th, 2013 (8:34 am) - Score 2,053

Mobile network operator O2 UK has joined EE by becoming the second provider to introduce a new range of dedicated 4G (LTE at 800MHz) based Mobile Broadband packages, which are designed for use with Tablets, Laptops or special USB Dongles (Modems). But don’t expect a big data allowance.

Customers choosing one of the new packages will essentially be able to select from three primary options. The first is essentially a pay-as-you-go style One off Top-Up that for £30 will give you 5GB (GigaBytes) of data to be used over a 90 day period and with any of O2’s various 4G-enabled devices. The next two options are simple monthly tariffs.

4G MobileBroadband Plans (Monthly)

3GB – £15
5GB – £25

NOTE: Extra usage costs £10 per 1GB.

One useful advantage of O2’s monthly plans are that they allow unused data to be rolled over into the next month and indeed customers will be able to roll-over up to a maximum of 12GB from their allowance. As a special offer customers who sign-up to the 5GB monthly plan before the end of February 2014 will also get an extra 3GB of data (8GB). In addition the only clear mention of a contract that we could find was for a 30 day rolling period.

O2 also offer a variety of different bundled device deals but most consumers will probably look towards their two USB Modem’s (Dongle). The first is a basic 4G Dongle from ZTE that costs £50 (£57.50 if you buy it included with 3GB of 4G data), includes a Micro SD storage card slot and supports theoretical download speeds of up to 42.00Mbps (5.76 Mbps uploads).

The second dongle from Huawei costs £65 (£72.50 if you take it with 3GB of 4G data) but unlike the ZTE kit this one can also act as a wireless (MiFi) router so that multiple WiFi equipped devices or computers can connect to it. It also includes a Micro SD slot but supports download speeds of up to 100Mbps (50Mbps uploads) via first generation LTE Category 3 technology.

So how does all this compare with EE? The latest Mobile Broadband packages from EE on a 30 day contract are very similar with the operator offering 3GB of data for £16 per month, 5GB for £21 and an 8GB option also exists for £26 (add a dongle for £39.99). But EE’s network is currently faster and has better coverage. Also if you don’t mind a 24 month contract then prices start at £13 for 1GB and rise to £50 for 50GB and you also get a free dongle with a free 7″ android tablet computer.

At the time of writing we couldn’t yet order O2’s new Mobile Broadband plans from their website but this should change very soon.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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