phone simcard wifi tv icon chevron bottom icon chevron bottom icon search x close delete

Compare O2 mobile deals

O2 mobile plans explained

Good old O2 is one of the UK's biggest mobile networks - and one of the oldest, too - known for having stacks of special perks for its customers. And it's got a large range of plans to boot.

Its long, long history began in 1985 when it was known as Cellnet, created as a joint effort between BT and defunct security firm Securicor. It demerged from BT in 2001, re-launching as O2 - a name you may now recognise from your local stadium or Academy venue.

These days O2 is owned and operated by Spanish mobile giant Telefonica, a company that also runs networks in several countries across Europe, Asia, and the Americas.

O2 also acts as a base network for some MVNOs - namely giffgaff, Sky Mobile, and Tesco Mobile.

What can I get from O2?

To put it shortly: pretty much anything. Well, anything mobile, at least.

For a start, you can get phone contracts from O2 on a massive range of handsets, from major flagships to budget devices, including iPhones, Androids, Windows Phone, and all the rest. You'll find monthly allowances spanning all the way up to a huge 50GB of data per month with unlimited calls and texts. Some are available with no upfront costs.

There's also the option of an O2 Refresh contract. This splits up the cost of the phone and the cost of your monthly tariff - meaning you can change your allowance around more easily, and won't find yourself shelling out more than you need to after you've paid off the cost of your phone.

As for SIM-only deals, O2 offers everything you could hope for: pay-monthly, 'Pay & Go', 30-day contracts, 12-month contracts, 250MB plans, 30GB plans - the lot.

Sadly, 30GB is the maximum data allowance you can get on SIM-only, though. On the plus side, unlimited texts come as standard, and unlimited minutes are pretty common too.

O2 also offers deals on data-only SIMs for tablets and mobile broadband (allowances up to 40GB per month).

O2 coverage

Coverage isn't half bad: 99% of the population can get signal on O2, and over 85% can connect to 3G, though 4G is more limited.

It doesn't have the widest coverage in the country - that crown goes to EE - but you'll still get signal almost anywhere. Just remember to check the 4G coverage in your area before you take out a plan.

Read more about coverage

O2 perks, benefits, and extras

Let's take a look at those handy extras you get as an O2 customer. They include…

O2 Priority

Thanks to Priority, O2 customers can get tickets to events such as concerts up to 48 hours before general release - and at an O2 venue, you may also get to fast track through the queues or access the exclusive O2 Lounge. The rest of the time, you'll get stuff like coupons, entries to prize draws, high street discounts, free stuff, and more.

O2 Gurus

The O2 Gurus are the network's dedicated team of geeks ready to help you out with all your mobile woes - whether you need more info on your plan, want a guided tour of the My O2 portal, or just can't figure out how to turn your phone's volume down.

O2 Rewards

On 'Pay & Go' (aka pay-as-you-go) plans, O2 likes to give you something back. It does this via Rewards - which can give you up to 10% of your total top-ups back every three months.

What's good about O2?

  • Wide range of plans - whatever you want, O2's probably got it
  • Lots of perks and extras, like gig tickets, coupons, and queue-skipping passes
  • Tariffs are reasonably priced
  • 4G and unlimited texts included as standard
  • Cheap roaming add-ons available for when you're abroad
  • O2 Refresh keeps you in control of your bill
  • O2 Gurus are available to help with any issues

What's bad about O2?

  • Plans aren't the cheapest around
  • Coverage could be a little better, especially 4G
  • Not the best choice if you go abroad a lot
  • Data allowances aren't very high on SIM-only, with no unlimited data option at all

Take a look at our full O2 review for more info.


  1. How do I check network coverage?

    All networks have a coverage checker on their websites, so check there as your first port of call. These give a good indication of whether you will get a signal in different parts of the country. It’s worth noting that these offer a simplified view of coverage and aren't necessarily 100% accurate, but they give you a good indication all the same.

    See our guide to mobile coverage for more info

  2. If I switch, can I keep my mobile number?

    Yes you can. All you have to do is ask your old network for your Porting Authorisation Code (PAC) before your contract is up. Then give the PAC - likely a nine-digit number - to your new provider and you’ll usually be able to use your old number within a working day.

    For more info, see our guide: Can I keep my mobile number?

  3. How do I switch mobile contracts?

    First, pick a new mobile contract by comparing different packages on our site, and click through to sign up to one that looks good.

    Then, simply contact your current provider to cancel, and switch to the new contract. Providers should walk you through the process when you sign up.

    Compare mobile deals here

  4. Can I use my mobile phone abroad?

    It is possible to use your phone abroad, but before you can do so you may have to activate roaming with your network operator. Different countries incur different charges, but your operator should send you a message about roaming prices upon your arrival. And remember, unlike at home, you may be charged for receiving calls as well as making them.

    If you're travelling within the EU, you can use your usual monthly allowance at no extra cost - whatever network you're with.

    See our guide to using your phone abroad for more info.