O2 was the first GSM government based carrier plan for UK customers to choose. Vodafone and Cellnet were the two companies which were awarded with licenses to sell these phones. Cellnet was the original company which O2 began under; because ownership was split by two companies, from the very start Cellnet was not as strong as Vodafone and didn’t offer such high quality services as its competitor.
Part of the Racal Group, owned by Cellnet, and its board of directors, were required to approve any decisions which were made at the time. During its early phases, Vodafone did not have this restriction in place giving the company far more freedom. With this said, both networks did flourish, and based on the GSM standard at the time, were able to produce 900 MHz frequency channels. By the end of the 90s, each network had about 2 million customers respectively. Year after year immense growth forced these network carriers to make changes.
Cellnet eventually began to fade to Vodafone due to dis accord and inability to agree in the decision making process by board members. BTCellnet emerged and attempted to lessen the gap between the company and the Vodafone competitor. Over the years, BTCellnet began to fall as Vodafone continued to grow. Further, Cellnet fell further behind One2One and Orange, two new carriers that had emerged. Investments were sought, and finally the O2 name emerged as the new owners of Cellnet.
“Its your O2, See what you can do,” was the brand slogan which the company gave. Giving its customers this freedom, more and more people began trusting the company over time. Additionally, over 400 UK stores opened with the O2 name, and internet services began to pop up, which led to the major resurgence which was made by the O2 team, and now they are a leading UK carrier.