O2 Takes Aim at Vodafone in the Ongoing 5G Saga, Saying It Doesn't Have 'Real 5G'

By Shabana Arif on at

In an attempt to be the network with the most shit to fling at its competitors, O2 is sparking more pissing contests over 5G. Please just give it a rest already.

This week's playground drama sees O2 CEO Mark Evans take aim at Vodafone's unlimited 5G plans, saying that the service provider's offerings aren't real 5G. So there.

"[Vodafone has] launched three price points for unlimited data. One could say 2Mbps would correspond to a 3G service, 10Mbps is broadly a 4G service and £30 is for ‘fastest’. Remember those are capped speeds at 2Mbps and 10Mbps," said Evans, via Mobile News.

"I thought Vodafone’s launch was simple, clever and effective. But if you contrast that with advertising standards in fibre broadband, where people talk about the theoretical speed one might get, I thought the rules were tightening on that. I don’t know where ‘up to’ sits.

"Customers haven’t really got a 5G experience at 2Mbps; it’s 3G. But I give credit to Vodafone for making a fundamental shift change in pricing and tariff."

Vodafone has of course responded, explaining that it "conducted many months of research" before launching the tariffs, and added a passive aggressive "We look forward to seeing O2 follow our lead" at the end.

Three chimed in to stir the pot of course, still boasting about how it's the only network with 'real 5G'.

"Three will be the only operator offering ‘real’ unlimited 5G to consumers with unrestricted speeds," said chief marketing officer Shadi Halliwell.

The network is surprisingly unrelenting when it comes to making this claim despite the fact that it's in the midst of an Ofcom investigation - that O2 started - to establish whether it has an unfair advantage over its competitors in the realms of 5G.

Three is also being investigated by the ASA at the behest of EE, who's had its fill of Three swinging its big ol' 5G dick around, and has asked the body to ban ads that Three is running right now that keep telling literally everyone that it has the only real 5G.

Undeterred, Three continues to shout from the rooftops about its 5G network that went live this week, although it's limited to London for now.

Ultimately, this is all a bit rich coming from O2. Especially since the company was so gung-ho about calling any 5G offerings that launched before 2020 as '5G lite' and then hooking up with Vodafone shortly afterwards in a new deal that saw the service providers share their 5G infrastructure to get their networks live a bit quicker. Just stay in your lane, as the kids say. [Mobile News]