I am hot and cold toward the O2 dongles. On one hand if you're on a low income, they're handy enough, as you pay for what you need, as and when. But depending on the area you live in, the signal can be a hell of a let down, especially if your online usage at the time is essential. I am also sick of seeing so many sites blocked by this "age verification" nonsense, why should any of us pay money via a f*****g credit card just to prove we're over eighteen? Didn't they ask us our essentials when signing up for the damn things?! I think a little more attention to detail should be taken when taking our money in the shop, so that we're not held up at security check points every time we fancy looking at a website that may or may not be suitable for under 18s...
O2 mobile broadband
- PAYG mobile broadband deals available with pre-loaded data
- Mobile broadband contracts from start from 1 month (flexible rolling contract) with a choice of 0.5 - 3GB downloads per month
- Discounts on O2 home broadband when you buy with mobile broadband
- Free delivery and 14 day returns policy
Best selling O2 mobile broadband deals
- Payg dongles
- Pay Monthly dongles1GB / 1 month + Unlimited WiFi
- 10.20 dongle + £10.21/mth
- 1GB/mth downloads
- Up to 0Kb max speed
O2 Broadband Genie Road Test results
- 3 stars
- 2 stars
- 3 stars
- Coverage & stability
- 2 stars
- Feelgood factor
- 2 stars
- Dongle software
- 4 stars
- Overall rating
O2 hasn’t had the greatest success in previous Road Trips. Not a good sign when handing out the O2 dongle elicits groans from the tester; it’s got a poor reputation in our office.
Did get off to a good start with the Huawei E173, O2’s latest dongle. We’ve had some hassle before with O2 software but this one played nice, installed without issue and the utility wasn’t too intrusive. So first impressions: positive.
Tragically it fell apart once we were on the move and connected. Well, we say connected but with just 30% of tests completed an active connection was a rare sight. Even when it worked results were less than spectacular. A speed test high of 2.9Mb would be more than okay except the average was just 1.2Mb and it only managed 20% of the attempts. Upstream crawled at an average 0.37Mb so even copying a photo to Facebook is going to take some time. We weren’t able to find out for ourselves as the O2 dongle could not complete any upload tasks.
Downloading files was a partial success. O2 completed as many of the tests as Vodafone and Orange and also sat just behind Three for speed in one download attempt, but it lagged far behind in the rest, as much as 12 times slower than the fastest in one result. Streaming, when it worked, showed potential. One video took 63% extra for buffering but others didn’t pause at all.
Stability and coverage continue to be a weak point, but the occasional decent download speed and streaming result show that O2 mobile broadband is capable of performing so it would not be a bad choice if you need internet access in a static location with strong O2 signal.
by May 2012
In the world of mobile broadband providers, O2 is benefiting from a strong middle ground position between the old reliables and younger cooler (and/or cheaper) brands.
O2 has a bit of both: while it has tended to follow its rivals in the mobile broadband UK market (for example, it still doesn't have a mobile Wi-Fi unit), its marketing has a fresh, lively feel (such as sponsoring The O2 Arena). Its message of strong customer service – backed by a string of awards for its support – has helped it maintain a healthy market position. If you compare mobile broadband prices it is unlikely O2 will come out on top, but it would claim you are paying for extra quality.
The company started out as BT Cellnet (one of the original two UK mobile networks, alongside Vodafone), before being demerged from BT in 2001. After five years of independence it was snapped up by Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica in 2006, where it continues to be a wholly owned subsidiary. O2 entered the 3G mobile broadband contract market in April 2008. This was a little behind some of its rivals, with the mobile internet provider claiming it had wanted to ensure the service would meet customer expectations. It released its first pay as you go mobile broadband dongle in December 2008. The ISP also started selling subsidised laptop deals later than its rivals, in March 2009, with a variety of Samsung laptops.
Vodafone and O2 announced a network infrastructure collaboration deal in March 2009. The biggest deal of its kind, it sees the two mobile internet providers merging their existing mobile sites while building new ones together. This is aimed at both improving coverage and future-proofing their combined network.
In 2011 O2 Mobile announced it had begun 4G trials in preparation for the forthcoming spectrum auction. This should give it a head start in providing 4G mobile broadband services across the UK from some time in 2013.
O2 customer reviews
The speed of O2 internet broadband is extremely poor. It is always very slow, and it often returns an error message such as 'can't find Google server' etc. Sites with pictures take an age to load. In my opinion, O2 is just like T-Mobile in that, once they have your money, they lose all interest. Nether company ever delivers the broadband speeds they advertise, which is why they are s very reluctant to tell people what speeds they 'offer'.
ABSOLUTELY AWFUL. o2 mobile broadband block a ridiculous amount of ports including STEAM. It also has an age verification block on it, which requires a credit card(not debit card) to verify, failing that you can "pop" (assuming you live close to one of their shops and don't work) into their shop with ID to confirm your age. The age block is quite badly made and obviously uses a 3rd party company that operate from a shed. It blocks random technical forums, some gaming webpages along with google translate. You'd be better off buying a Nokia 3210 and plugging it into your pc and uses its GPRS connection to browse the web rather than o2 broadband
This product is not perfect, but for me it was an absolute life saver. I am self employed and lost BT internet and phone connections for 5 weeks, due to underground cable faults. The 02 mobile broadband was usually, very reliable. I would recommend it as an emergency backup. Also, it has UK, based call centres, which is a massive boost and it never took long to get any help need from the friendly 02 team, unlike BT who are an absolute disgrace.