According to sources, O2 is undertaking ‘astronomical’ amounts of work, with major sites going live first before rolling out to the rest of the country. It will also look at expanding 3G services to remote areas that previously had little or no coverage.
The project, which aims to migrate data-hungry dongle and iPhone 4 users onto the 900MHz spectrum band, is led by O2 CTO Nigel Purdy.
O2 switched on a new superfast 3G network in Bradford, Bristol, Glasgow, Nottingham, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Leicester, Sheffield and Liverpool last week, having gained permission to reuse the 900MHz spectrum for 3G services from Ofcom in January.
O2 said the new 3G900 network layer in these cities is expected to deliver a 50% increase in capacity to its existing 3G network.
The 900MHz frequency band was previously only licensed for 2G services in the UK. Since being granted its new network licence in January, O2 has deployed 3G900 services in several key cities across the UK including Leeds, Birmingham and Manchester.
O2 added that customers on 3G900 compatible devices such as the iPhone are now receiving data 30% faster than before the new spectrum was allocated for 3G use.
Purdy (pictured) said: ‘This 3G900 switch-on is the latest in a series of network enhancements for O2, and is a first for the UK and Telefónica. We’ve acted quickly to bring the benefits of 3G over 900MHz spectrum to our customers and we’re thrilled with the results. Quite simply, on O2’s network, more customers can use more data, and experience it quicker.’
‘We invest the equivalent of over £1m a day, every day, in our network, which is used to deliver technologies in a way that goes beyond traditional cellular infrastructure, providing access to a new range of ‘smarter’ services. Our strategy is to intelligently layer our network to give our customers connection to 2G, 3G, HSPA+, LTE and Wi-Fi, seamlessly, simply and at speed.’
Story courtesy of ‘Mobile Today’ Magazine – Editor: Kate Oflaherty