O2 delays broadband launch but hints at iPhone

When O2 does launch its broadband service, it will join mobile operators like Orange, Vodafone and Virgin Mobile who offer a bundled communications package.

News of the delayed broadband launch follows O2's latest results, which reveal that it has added 34,000 new UK mobile customers in the second quarter, down from 470,000 at the same time last year. Vodafone has added 236,000 customers in the new period.

O2 also announced earlier this month that it would be ditching the i-mode mobile Internet service after attracting just 250,000 UK subscribers in two years. The operator partly attributed the low demand for i-mode to a limited choice of i-mode handsets. O2 says that it will continue to support the i-mode system for a further two years for owners of existing handsets, but will stop selling i-mode devices immediately.

On a brighter note, there is increasing speculation that O2 will be the first UK operator to offer the iPhone following comments made by O2's chief exec, Peter Erskine.

Speaking to The Independent, Erskine said: "We're excited about this product and we certainly hope to be marketing it later in the year when it launches."

Despite a slow-down in growth, O2 remains the UK's largest operator by customer numbers, and has recently celebrated the opening of the O2 music venue and launched its branded Cocoon handset (pictured).

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