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Hey, we'll do 4G for £15, says O2 (just mind how you go on the 1GB limit)

And please don't look at the Three UK website

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O2 is touting a new low-cost, low-limit route to 4G mobile broadband, and slipped in a few price rises for good measure. It's still not quite as low as Three UK.

Calls on O2 Pay & Go are now billed by the minute, rounding up to the nearest minute; so a call lasting 1min 21sec will now count as 2min. And O2 has dropped its Talkalot tariffs that lowered call costs from 25p a minute to 2p a minute. They are now always 25p a minute, and picture messaging goes up from 25p to 35p.

O2 however cannot rest on its laurels having lost 208,000 pay-and-go customers the first three months of this year, and has introduced pay-as-you-go data tariffs where there is no price difference between 3G and 4G.

These pay-as-you-go SIM-only Big Bundles include:

  • 100 minutes of voice calls, 1,000 texts and 500MB of mobile data (sub-4G only) in a month for £10;
  • 200 minutes, 2,000 texts and 1GB of data (4G supported) for £15;
  • 400 minutes, 4,000 text messages and 2GB of data (4G supported) for £20.

(O2 quotes its monthly data allowances in Mb and Gb – megabits and gigabits – but we assume the telco's marketing bods meant bytes.)

Compare these bundles to Three's "pay monthly" SIM-only selection, which offers:

  • 200 minutes, 5,000 texts and all-you-can-eat data on 4G in one month for £12.90;
  • 2,000 minutes, 5,000 texts, and all-you-can-eat data on 4G in one month for £23.00.

Note, we're comparing one-month pay-as-you-go contracts; committing to a year-long deal will lower the per-month cost, of course.

The O2 decision to level the playing field between 3G and 4G follows a similar move by Tesco – Tesco Mobile is a joint venture between Tesco and O2. The new O2 prices take effect from 29 May. ®

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