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O2 customers face anxious wait for 4G on iPhone 5S and 5C

O2 customers hoping for 4G access on the new iPhone 5S and 5C will have to wait until at least November for the service to function and in the mean time will have to make do with 3G.

The company reports that the 4G network will be able to run on the two new devices “within the coming weeks” and the exact date depends on “when new settings are ready to be sent by Apple”. Sources told The Telegraph that this date would not be until November at the very earliest.

Any O2 customers that buy one of the devices on a 4G tariff before the network has been enabled get a £5 discount off their bill for one month and customers can still utilise the 4G data limit on O2’s 3G network.

Industry sources quoted by the Telegraph think the delay is due to Apple’s strict network vetting process that doesn’t allow operators to offer 4G services until passing Apple’s independent LTE testing process in California.

Apple only mentions on its store that EE and Vodafone currently support 4G LTE connectivity on the two devices, which both go on sale on 20 September.

O2 has also announced pricing for the device with both available on the upgrade-any-time Refresh tariff. The 16GB version of the iPhone 5S comes in at £199.99 upfront when customers take out a £37 a month contract that has unlimited texts and minutes with 1GB of 3G data. For an extra £10 a month customers on can get 5GB of 4G data.

The iPhone 5C is cheaper with the 16GB version costing £49.99 upfront on a £32 a month contract that includes 600 minutes, unlimited texts and 750MB of 3G data. The 4G tariff comes in at £42 a month with unlimited texts and minutes with 5GB of 4G data, and the device costs £99.99.