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News & Blog

O2 to Upgrade 1000 UK Sites with 2.3GHz Based 4G Mobile Spectrum

After spending £206m to acquire the 2.3GHz radio spectrum band in Ofcom’s recent auction (here), mobile operator O2 UK has now wasted no time in adopting a rapid roll-out and they intend switch-on over 1,000 sites nationwide using the new 4G frequency by the end of 2018.

The operator was the only bidder to grab the 2.3GHz band (40MHz of frequency was made available), which is arguably one of the most useful because it reflects both immediately usable spectrum and is already widely supported by a good number of modern Smartphones (other countries around the world already use this band for mobile).

In fact O2 said today that they’ve already switched-on several sites to transmit the new 4G spectrum within 24 hours of acquiring it and they expect to have completed 100 sites across the UK by the end of April 2018, including in London, Leeds and Nottingham. The plan is to prioritise enhancing performance on major transportation hubs in major cities, and in busy shopping areas including Westfield Shopping centres in White City and Stratford.

Derek McManus, COO of O2, said: “We know how important a fast and reliable connection is to our customers which is why we’re putting our new 4G spectrum to use as quickly as possible. We were able to switch on the first sites within 24 hours. Our swift deployment of new 4G spectrum will further enhance the O2 experience for all of our UK customers.”

At present O2 confirm that their 4G mobile network can already cover over 98% of the UK population, although 2.3GHz is perhaps less about improving their overall coverage and more about boosting capacity (as well as their market value as a company).

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Posted on 25 May 2018