O2 is a telecommunications services provider in the United Kingdom, owned by the Spanish multinational Telefónica, and is headquartered in Slough.
With 25 million subscribers (as of December 2017), O2 is the second-largest mobile network operator in the United Kingdom after EE, with Vodafone in third place.
O2 was formed in 1985 as Cellnet, a 60:40 joint venture between BT Group and Securicor. In 1999, BT Group acquired Securicor's share of Cellnet and the company was later rebranded as BT Cellnet. In June 2000, BT Cellnet launched the world's first commercial General Packet Radio Service. BT Cellnet, together with BT Group's mobile telecommunications businesses in Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands, was part of the BT Wireless division. This was spun off from the BT Group in 2002 to form a new holding company, mmO2 plc, which introduced the new "O2" brand for the businesses. In 2005, mmO2 plc was renamed O2 plc.
O2 plc was purchased by the Spanish telecommunications company Telefónica in 2006 for £18 billion. Under the terms of the acquisition, Telefónica agreed to retain the "O2" brand and the company's UK headquarters. O2 plc became Telefónica Europe.