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The O2 Mobile Network: Is it Worth the Hype?

O2 company logo

O2 is one of the big four networks that make up the UK’s mobile network infrastructure, but what does it provide for its users? Want to know more about My O2, O2 priority or how being an O2 customer could help you get tickets to your favourite band in the O2 arena? We discuss perks, plans, sim only deals, customer reviews, contact deals and so much more about the O2 network. to plans, sim only details to plans.

Why choose O2?

The UK mobile provider landscape is a very competitive one - all of its players need to find a way to stand out and bring value to their customers. All networks do this slightly differently, and what benefits tickle your fancy will really depend on your preferences and needs. So how have O2 tried to do this? We’ve put together the top five reasons to choose O2 so that you can see for yourself whether or not they would be the best network for you.

1. My O2

This service allows you to manage all aspects of your account from one convenient place. So what can you do on my O2 app? Pay as you use customers can get more information about what tariff they’re on, top up their phone with credit and check their balances or allowances.

Pay monthly customers can use the O2 app to check exactly how much data, text, or calls they have left for the month, pay their bills or even change their plan which is a handy way to keep on top of call, text and data usage.

It's important to note that, whilst the My O2 portal is an incredibly useful tool for managing your account with ease, most of its competitors have very similar services available. To be a top player in the UK mobile network arena you probably need to provide a service like this one. That being said whilst not particularly unique My O2 is user friendly and a credit to the provider.

My O2 can be accessed online or via a free app that can be downloaded in the App Store or Google play.

2.Priority O2

Priority O2 tickets

O2 customers have access to the O2 Priority app, which, in our opinion is the shining gem in the provider’s crown.

  1. Presale tickets - with so many popular events selling out almost instantly O2 has a pretty cool perk for its customers - a 48 hour window in which the tickets are available to O2 customers only. If you’re a live music lover or want access to the biggest live spectacles in town this feature gives you the upper hand when trying to snag tickets.
  2. Priority sports - here’s a perk for the sports lovers out there. With Priority O2 you can get exclusive access to sports events, sports gear and even fitness classes!
  3. Competitions and giveaways- enter competitions for your chance to win things like holidays, cars and event tickets free of charge. Better than a poke in the eye with a blunt stick!

3.O2 Family

As the name suggests, this is a perk for all of the family makers out there. O2 family offers three different things for parents.

Firstly, they offer family plans with discounts of up to 40%! Family plans allow parents to save their highly monopolised time by having one universal bill for the whole family.

Secondly, in coordination with the NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) O2 have to create extensive guides on how to keep children safe online. These guides inform parents on everything from online bullying to Youtube safety and strangers online. These guides have been made accessible to everyone regardless of whether they are O2 customers or not, but it’s a credit to the company that they have been involved in building such an important network of advice to help keep children safe.

Finally, O2 Family Plans come with the capability for advanced parental controls. O2 tech gurus assist their customers in setting up a child’s phone and provide advice or what is recommendable for them to be able to access and when.

4. O2 Guru

O2 guru

Need help with your tech? Or want to know about applying parental controls? O2 gurus are tech experts and are in place to help you answer any tech question O2 customers may have.

Assistance can be accessed by appointment either via an online chat system, over the phone or you can see a guru in store.

5.Customize your plan

In a bid to inject flexibility into their plans O2 have added the capability to create your own plan. This option is for customers on rolling plans who want to combine a SIM card with a new mobile handset.

Custom plans work by getting customers to choose their mobile plans based on three key things:

  1. The length of the plan - how long are you willing to be locked in with this provider? The longer the contract the smaller the payments may be.
  2. The upfront cost of the handset - how much would you like to pay off your new mobile phone per month? You’ve got to love that new phone feeling!
  3. Choose your data allowance - select how much data you think you will need per month. If you choose the wrong amount it’s no big deal as O2 allow you to change this month to month!

So, with O2 the amount you pay per month will really depend on what works best for you and how you choose to customise your mobile plan but how do these charges look exactly? Well, O2 mobile plan tariffs bills are broken down to two separate charges.

  1. Charge 1: Device - the cost of your mobile handset.
  2. Charge 2: Airtime - the cost of your data, calls and texts.

O2 reviews: what do customers have to say?

So you’ve had the low down on what perks O2 has on offer but what do its customers have to say about the network?

The O2 network receives fairly varied reviews overall. On customer review site Trustpilot the network received a disappointing 1 out of 5 stars overall. Keep in mind that other providers receive similar scores out of five overall on Trustpilot.EE mobile and Sky Mobile, for example, received 1 out of 5 stars on and Vodafone received two out of five stars overall.

Another barometer for how warm customers are feeling towards O2 is consumer data received by the Telecom regulator Ofcom. In their 2018 interactive report Ofcom shared that across EE, Tesco, Virgin, Three and Vodafone the average level of customer satisfaction with their provider across all areas is 93%. On average, 92% of O2 customers were satisfied with their provider, coming in at 1% below the average level of customer satisfaction.

O2 customers surveyed by Ofcom did however report the industry average level of satisfaction with the level of signal strength they received at 87%. When it comes to complaints handling and customer service 6% of customers had a reason to complain, which is 2% higher than the average across providers.

O2 top up and pay as you go

Save money

We’ve looked at how O2 customise your plan tariffs work for those who plan to go down the phone plans and handsets combined road, but what if you want a SIM only deal where you can pay as you go?

Taking the pay as you go route may work for you if you don’t want to be locked into a contract or you don’t use your phone a whole lot and would prefer to top up only when you need to use it. If you’re visiting the UK and you’ll need a SIM card it’s worth considering an O2 pay as you go SIM.

O2 pay as you go charges are broken down into three categories; Classic Pay As You Go, Big Bundles and International Bundles.

Pay As You Go (£10 minimum top up)
Calls Texts Data
3p a min 2p a text 1p an MB
Big Bundles
£10 £15 £20 £25 £30
2GB, 500 minutes, 500 texts 5GB, 100 minutes, 5000 texts 8GB, 2000 minutes, 5000 texts 10GB, 300 minutes, 5000 texts 30GB, 3000 minutes, 5000 texts
International Bundles
£10 £15 £20
1GB data, 250 minutes,5000 texts 3GB data, 500 minutes,5000 texts 8GB data, 1000 minutes, 5000 texts

The international bundles include 1p per minute calls to over 40 destinations including Australia, China, Canada, Hong Kong, Thailand and the US.

How to top up your O2 phone

When you are looking to top up your phone O2 gives you a huge array of options. Read on for how to top up based on which method you prefer.

  • Auto top-up - as the name suggests you can choose to top up automatically when your credit runs out, meaning you’ll never be without credit. To choose this option you’ll need to sign in to My O2 and choose the amount you would like added each time your balance runs out.
  • Web top-up - enter your email address, phone number and payment details online.
  • Top up by phone - to top up over the phone call 4444 free from your mobile, or 08456 062 277 from a landline. You’ll need your credit or debit card handy!
  • E-Top Up card- you’ll need to head to an O2 shop or any other store with the green- top up logo. You can top up anywhere between ten and fifty euros via cash, credit or debit card.
  • Top-up voucher - Again, if you’d rather go into a shop to get your credit you can go to any green logo top up store or O2 shop. You’ll need to call 4444 from mobiles or 08456 062 277 from landlines.
  • Top up abroad - Call 4444 free from your mobile while overseas. If you’re in a country where shortcode dialling doesn’t work, enter *111*# and press the call button.

O2 network coverage and download speeds

Download speed

When looking at any mobile network it’s worthwhile investigating how their download speed and network coverage compare to that of their competitors. So how do O2 get on in this department?

When it comes to network coverage O2 do well across the different networks reaching around the average level of amongst mobile providers.

O2 UK network coverage
2G Network 3G Network 4G Network
99% 99% 99%

It’s important to note that the level of phone service you receive will depend on where you are in the UK among other factors like whether you’re inside or outside. f you’re in need of more information about O2 network coverage, check out our dedicated O2 network coverage article.

Across the UK mobile providers with network infrastructure O2 comes in at the slowest download speed across a 4G network.

Curious about when O2 will add its 5G network in the UK? The first roll out is predicted to be completed by the end of September 2019. Awesome!

Download Speed Comparison
Network 4G Average Speed
O2 15.16 Mbps
Three 18.8 Mbps
Vodafone 21.9 Mbps
EE 29 Mbps

Contact O2

How do you reach O2 if you need to get a hold of them? We’ve included all of their contact details here so you’ll know where to get onto them.

  • Chat to O2 online - O2 have a web function where you can chat with them online via your web browser.
  • Call from an O2 mobile - pay monthly customers call 202 (for free). Pay as you go customers call 4445 (for free). For O2 business call 8002 free.
  • Call from landline - pay monthly customers call 0344 8090202. Pay as you go customers call 0344 8090222. O2 business call 0800 9777337.
  • Call from abroad - pay monthly customers call +44 344 8090202, pay as you go customers call +44 7860 980202 and o2 business customers call +44 808 1004439.