Before March 2006 the company Telefónica O2 Europe was simply known as O2 Plc. The name comes from the chemical name for oxygen and was chosen to give the idea that the company supplied essential services in the same way that oxygen is essential for life ... yeah, I'll bet that's exactly what goes through your mind when you're staring at their store front? O2 originates from a combination of mobile operator interests known in the latter half of the 1990s as BT Wireless and an operator-independent mobile data business then known as Genie Internet, a subsidiary of BT Group. The Telecom Securicor Cellular Radio Limited was launched in 1985 as a joint venture between British Telecommunications and Securicor and traded as Cellnet. It launched GSM services in the UK in 1993. Securicor's shares were sold to BT in 1999 and the company was renamed BT Cellnet. After demerger in 2001, BT Cellnet became O2 UK, a subsidiary of mmO2 plc. The O2 group was acquired by the Spanish company Telefónica in January 2006. That same year, O2 UK acquired the DSL broadband startup Be Unlimited. By the end of March 2007, 0 2 had 35.9 million mobile customers in the UK, Germany, Ireland and Czech Republic. Its headquarters are in Slough and it has several hundred national retail outlets across these countries offering mobile phones, fixed telephony and broadband DSL products.
O 2 mobile phones is the exclusive supplier of network services for the Apple iPhone in the UK. Telefónica O2 is the sponsor of the Irish Rugby team and in May 2005, the company acquired the name rights for the redeveloped Millennium Dome in London, which is now officially known as 'The O2'. It also owns 50% percent of Tesco Mobile.
O2 mobile phones can be bought direct from O2 online at shop.o2.co.uk with links to all services available on www.o2.co.uk or www.o2.com for their international services. Note that both www.o2shop.co.uk and www.o2shop.com are not owned by O2 so take care when returning using your browser bar. Both monthly contracts and pay as you go deals are available. The PAYG tariffs offer a free allowance of calls or texts, the amount of which depends on how much you choose to top up monthly. You can top up online and reward schemes are available, again, based on how much you top up. Bolt-on's can also be bought online. These require a monthly payment and offer a wide range of combinations of voice minutes or message units. As bolt ons can be cancelled at any time, this scheme is less restrictive than a monthly contract.
Monthly tariffs on an O2 mobile phone range from a SIM card only deal to a variety of different plans offering free minutes and texts. Contracts vary between 12, 18 and 24 months, depending on which package you sign up for. It's possible to use Bolt-ons with monthly accounts. Sim cards are also on sale for those customers who are happy with their existing cell phone. SIMS can be bought for either monthly or pay as you go accounts.
Mobile phones on O2 consist of a wide variety of handsets, including all of the popular brands and O2's popular ICE mobile phones. The online mobile guide enables you to search by manufacturer, model or tariff and gives detailed information about the phone's specifications along with customer reviews. Again, all this information is available through their main site, we have noticed people entering things like www.o2mobiles.co.uk and www.o2mobile.co.uk into our search facility and although the latter is owned by O2 it doesn't redirect to the correct site and neither of the dot coms i.e. www.o2mobiles.com or www.o2mobile.com are owned by the official company either. With all these strange firms buying up O2s spaces you might feel a little concerned, so if you would prefer to buy phones offline the store finder helps you to find the nearest 0 2 shop, but remember, some O2 mobile phone deals may only be available online. Cheap O2 mobiles are on offer on the website from time to time and the O2 Great Deals section of the website details the latest offers to enable you to buy a cheap O2 mobile phone. If you buy a phone from the website, you can have it delivered the following day or choose another specific date. Online tracking is available for your order but phones can only be delivered to your home address and a signature is required on delivery. Delivery is free of charge for any O 2 mobile phone, all of which come with a 14-day return guarantee.
O2online also includes broadband and business services. Tariffs are available for small or large business with corporate tariffs available for businesses with over 200 employees. An account manager is appointed by 02 to help you work out the best deal for your specific purposes. If you prefer to buy a PDA rather than simply a cellular phone, XDA exec phone handsets, including the XDA atom mobile phone, are available and customer services will advise which is the best model for you either by phone or email. Online support information and an outline of technical specifications appear on the website. Smart phones are also available allowing web browsing and email access for either a monthly fee or a payment per mb on a pay as you use basis. Mobile Web VPN allows you to access work emails and company information that are held on your Virtual Private Network. An XDA or laptop linked to a GPRS data card or mobile phone will enable you to access your VPN abroad.
O2 offer a variety of services for your mobile phone including messaging services, alerts, directory enquiries and Trafficline 1200, which gives up-to-the-minute traffic information for the UK's roads. You can sign up to Bluebook, which automatically saves every text and picture message you send or receive, and with this service, if you lose your phone, all your numbers can be transferred to your new phone. O2's mobile web services allow you to pick up email on your mobile with a web-based account such as Yahoo and surf the web. Not all of O2's services are business oriented - there are games, ringtones and wallpapers available from the website as well as video and chat services. You can even place bets online through the Bet2Go mobile betting service, which offers live odds from leading bookmakers. This service is free, (I'll bet it is ... get it? ... nevermind ...), and requires no subscription.
On our navigational note, it seems that to avoid confusing customers O2 tend to use subdomains more than spreading their services across various web addresses, for example, all their mobile phone reviews are at mobilereviews.o2.co.uk, not www.o2phones.co.uk etc. In fact, O2 have not even purchased that web address or www.o2phone.co.uk, www.o2phones.com or even www.o2phone.com which are all owned by other companies and although from time to time some of them may link to the official site, never bookmark any of them because you never know what will be there the week after and the last thing you want is to actually hand over your personal details to the wrong firm, it's bad enough when they're stolen! O2 have, however, purchased the most common entry errors www.02.co.uk and www.02.com i.e. a zero instead of the letter o with an entire carbon copy of the site resting there and a functioning store at shop.02.co.uk (www.02shop.co.uk and www.02shop.com owned by other firms though). We didn't check out the huge array of entries that we noticed in our search logs like 02mobile, 02mobiles, 02phone and 02phones as we would assume like the rest they are not owned by the official company, so as always, rule is to bookmark your location once you find the service you're interested in so that your trip back does not take so long and you don't get lost on the way. Everything can be found through the links on their main website where a large range of accessories is available for your mobile phone, including batteries, car kits, chargers and memory cards. You can search by brand, phone model or accessory type and order online. Full information is offered about each product and its availability is also indicated. It's possible to check the compatibility of items with any phone brand so that you can ensure that it's suitable for your mobile phone before placing an order.
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