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O2 UK Talks 4G, RAN Modernization

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LONDON -- O2 today confirmed that its 4G network now covers one third of the UK population indoors, reaching 191 towns and cities across the country, from Paisley in Scotland to Brighton on the south coast. O2’s 4G network reaches 41% of the population outdoors.

  • O2 4G now available in 191 towns and cities reaching around 20 million people
  • Details shared of nationwide upgrade programme offering improvements for customers using 2G, 3G and 4G
  • 25% of masts to be upgraded by the end of 2014
  • In addition, £16m has been committed to bring data coverage to over 200 additional areas for the very first time

    Since its 4G launch in August 2013, O2 has amassed over one million 4G customers. Those customers used more data in the 4G network’s first six months than the entire O2 network carried between 2000 and 2008, demonstrating the unprecedented demand for fast and seamless data services.

    The announcement comes as O2 sheds light on its ambitious nationwide network modernisation programme - one of the largest infrastructure improvement projects taking place in the UK today. Around 25% of O2’s 2G and 3G masts will be upgraded by the end of 2014 in order to deliver an increase in call quality and all round network experience, improving both call and data connectivity at peak times and in high-density areas.

    The comprehensive upgrade work, completed on an area-by-area basis, covers a range of modernisation techniques. Sites are assessed individually and key components are refreshed or replaced, including fibre connections, radio equipment, remote monitoring devices and antennas.

    The improvements in 2G are particularly crucial to power the ever-growing M2M industry, enabling valuable business data to power services including vehicle recovery and vending machines.

    O2 has also committed to investing an additional £16m to bring data coverage to places that have never had it before. Over 200 areas across the UK will get their first taste of 3G data coverage from O2 this year. This will open up possibilities for both customers and businesses to access data on the move, such as mobile email and internet browsing, for which they’ve previously relied on Wifi connections.

    Derek McManus, COO of Telefonica UK (O2) commented: “Last year we launched our 4G network and undertook the fastest network roll-out in the history of our company. This year we’re continuing that roll-out and concurrently modernising our 2G and 3G networks.

    “Building a great network isn’t just about bringing faster speeds to people that already have coverage. It’s vital that we also bring seamless coverage to people that have never had it before. Investment in all layers of our network is key to ensuring customers receive a great experience, whether that’s in streaming live goals in the pub or receiving critical business information.

    “We continue to invest the equivalent of £1.5million in our network every single day to offer seamless connectivity for our customers across 2G, 3G, 4G and Wifi. and remain focused on delivering an experience that exceeds our customers’ expectations.”

    In 2012, O2 and Vodafone announced a partnership to pool the basic parts of their network infrastructure. This deal, unlike a network sharing agreement, creates one national grid supporting two independent and competing networks both delivering mobile coverage and services across the UK.

    Telefónica UK Ltd. (O2 UK)

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