O2 says it will launch its new “superfast” 4G services later this month in London, Leeds and Bradford.
The company will become the second to offer 4G, which offers faster mobile data speeds, and follows rival EE’s launch last year.
O2 says its service, which will cover five million people from launch, will launch its rival’s launch speeds.
Describing its rollout plans as “ambitious”, the company says it aims to make 4G available to an additional two million people per month and that the network will be live in 13 cities by the end of the year.
Detailed pricing has yet to be announced, but the company says tariffs will start at £26 a month.
O2 was one of five bidders to win 4G spectrum in a recent Ofcom auction. The other successful firms were EE, Three, Niche Spectrum Ventures Ltd (a subsidiary of BT Group plc) and Vodafone.
The company paid £550m for capacity in the 800Mhz band, meaning its 4G network will not be compatible with Apple’s iPhone 5.
Announcing the start date, O2 CEO Ronan Dunne, said: “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.
“The full potential of 4G is as yet unexplored, but what we can be sure of is that it will allow for a whole new world of opportunity that people are now ready for.
“Over half of our customers say they use more data than two years ago and even more use wifi wherever they go, to always stay connected. Given this trend, there is no doubt that 4G will transform our lives, be it as consumers, in business or through public sector services.”