British carrier O2 has confirmed that its 4G LTE network has reached one-third of the population which covers 191 towns and cities. Around a quarter or 4,500 of its 2G and 3G masts will be upgraded by the end of this year which it said would deliver increased call quality and all-round network experience, improving both call and data connectivity at peak times and in high-density areas.
The firm also revealed that 4G customers have used more data in six months than the entire network carried between 2000 and 2008, underlining the data pressures 4G places on operators’ networks. Furthermore, O2 said it has outlined an additional £16m of spend to bring 3G coverage to remote areas of the UK. Over 200 new areas will be covered by this work, while 25 percent of the firm’s 2G and 3G masts will also be upgraded by the end of 2014 to improve coverage. Source
Cities with access to the network include Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne, Nottingham and Sheffield.
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. Source
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.”