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(Pocket-lint) - O2 is to offer 4G in the UK from 29 August, the company has confirmed, as it looks to claw back lost ground on EE and get ahead of Vodafone’s launch plan announcement due next week.

Launching initially in three cities - London, Leeds and Bradford - the UK mobile network says it plans to offer 4G connectivity in a further 10 cities by the end of the year, a number that is dwarfed by EE’s 95 city tally already amassed.

O2 says that 4G services will be available in London, Leeds, Bradford, Birmingham, Newcastle, Glasgow, Liverpool, Nottingham, Leicester, Coventry, Sheffield, Manchester and Edinburgh, by New Year’s Eve.

In an aggressive pricing move, 4G on O2 will be available to all new and existing customers on a range of tariffs from just £26 a month, although O2 has yet to detail exactly what the base tariff will be and how much data users will get for the starting price.  

O2 has said that business customers will also be offered tariffs for tablets and mobile broadband from launch and Mobile Wifi (Pop Up Office) in the coming weeks.

Although O2’s 4G reach is considerably less than EE, it hopes the offer of 12 months free music content for those who buy a 4G consumer tariff direct from O2 will help swing the deal.

“Digital connectivity will be made ubiquitous by 4G and become the oxygen of modern life. It is our intention to use 4G to inspire the nation through the possibilities of technology, encouraging people to live more, do more and be more with O2,” said Ronan Dunne, CEO of O2, perhaps getting a bit carried away.

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Sources familiar with the matter talking to Pocket-lint have told us that Vodafone will be detailing its 4G plans at the start of August (next week), although Vodafone declined to comment on those speculations when we asked them directly.

As the two networks have openly said they plan to share some of the 4G infrastructure costs, we suspect that Vodafone will be looking to roll out its 4G services towards the end of August as well.

Writing by Stuart Miles. Originally published on 31 July 2013.