O2 expands its 5G coverage in the UK to more than 100 locations — taking it almost level with EE as the nation’s biggest provider of the ultra-fast internet
- Areas added to O2’s 5G network include Chelmsford, Ipswich and Milton Keynes
- The mobile service provider offers customers a choice of 28 5G-enabled devices
- The firm has also been bolstering its 4D network to meet demand amid lockdown
Telecoms firm O2 has expanded its 5G coverage to more than 100 locations across the UK, bringing it nearly level with EE, the nation’s biggest provider.
New towns and cities joining the expanding range of the ultra-fast internet network include Chelmsford, Ipswich, Milton Keynes and Slough.
O2 customers can pick from a selection of 28 5G-enabled devices with their mobile plan, including the Apple iPhone 12 and 12 Pro, which will be released tomorrow.
Of the other major providers, EE offers 5G in 112 locations, while Three customers can access high-speed internet in 66 locations and Vodafone 55.
Telecoms firm O2 (pictured) has expanded its 5G coverage to more than 100 locations across the UK , bringing it nearly level with EE, the nation’s biggest provider
‘When we launched 5G last October, we said it was the first step on a journey,’ said O2’s Chief Operating Officer Derek McManus.
‘One year on and we have made some incredible progress, not just in terms of our roll-out but in bringing about new capabilities that will make real changes to people’s everyday lives.’
‘No one could have predicted the way this year has turned out — and that almost overnight, customers would turn to their networks more than ever before to keep them connected to loved ones, colleagues and suppliers.’
According to research by O2 and Development Economics, 4G and 5G connectivity helped to enable firms to still undertake £205 billions worth of business in the period from March to September this year during a time many were working remotely.
List of O2 5G locations in the UK
Bridge of Don
Bury St Edmunds
Chadwell St Mary
Eton and Windsor
Newcastle Upon Tyne
Royal Tunbridge Wells
Since March, O2 has doubled the capacity of its voice network to meet the increased demand — which surged by 57 per cent on the first day of the COVID-19 lockdown.
Alongside this, the service provider has boosted its 4G provisions in around 5 per cent of the UK’s postcodes.
‘Connectivity has never been more important, and we want our network to continue to raise the bar,’ Mr McManus continued.
‘We firmly believe 5G has a role in helping to rebuild Britain, unlocking huge possibilities for our economy and society.’
‘We’re excited to keep pushing ahead with our rollout along with our partners Ericson and Nokia, to keep supporting our customers, businesses and society.’
O2 is also bringing it 5G services to aid corporate customers.
With the Northumbrian Water Group, for example, the service provider has been working to aid experienced technicians to remotely direct on-the-ground teams using augmented reality.
Moreover, O2 is collaborating with researchers at the University of Glasgow and the European Space Agency to deliver a trial 5G-connected ‘clinic-on-wheels’ to help monitor COVID-19 across six care homes in Glasgow.
EXPLAINED: THE EVOLUTION OF MOBILE BROADBAND UP TO 5G
The evolution of the G system started in 1980 with the invention of the mobile phone which allowed for analogue data to be transmitted via phone calls.
Digital came into play in 1991 with 2G and SMS and MMS capabilities were launched.
Since then, the capabilities and carrying capacity for the mobile network has increased massively.
More data can be transferred from one point to another via the mobile network quicker than ever.
5G is expected to be 100 times faster than the currently used 4G.
Whilst the jump from 3G to 4G was most beneficial for mobile browsing and working, the step to 5G will be so fast they become almost real-time.
That means mobile operations will be just as fast as office-based internet connections.
Potential uses for 5g include:
- Simultaneous translation of several languages in a party conference call
- Self-driving cars can stream movies, music and navigation information from the cloud
- A full length 8GB film can be downloaded in six seconds.
5G is expected to be so quick and efficient it is possible it could start the end of wired connections.
By the end of 2020, industry estimates claim 50 billion devices will be connected to 5G.
The evolution of from 1G to 5G. The predicted speed of 5G is more than 1Gbps – 1,000 times greater than the existing speed of 4G and could be implemented in laptops of the future