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O2 launches its 5G network
17 October 2019, 14:26
O2 is going head to head with rivals EE, Vodafone, Three and BT Mobile by launching its 5G network in five UK cities and Slough.
The operator has today started its rollout in Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, London, Slough and Leeds and also promised to reach 20 locations by the end of the year.
The company said it would initially focus on areas of heavy footfall, where improved data connections and speed would be most needed, including London Waterloo and King's Cross train stations, around Haymarket in Edinburgh, Trinity shopping centre in Leeds and Belfast city centre.
It will also be introduced around sporting venues such as Twickenham and Arsenal's Emirates Stadium, O2 said.
5G technology is the next generation of mobile network and is expected to offer internet speeds several times faster than that of current-generation 4G.
It's here! 🤗 Our #O25G network is now live in London, Belfast, Edinburgh, Leeds, Cardiff and Slough.— O2 in the UK (@O2) October 17, 2019
Experience the power of #5G today on Britain’s Best Network for Coverage 👉 https://t.co/fQWCutBb3Y
Terms apply. pic.twitter.com/KN1A3VXK4W
Fellow operators EE, Vodafone and Three each began their own rollouts to towns and cities around the country earlier this year.
There is no official speed standard for 5G, but many experts expect it to be up to 10 times faster than 4G - and therefore potentially faster than some home fibre broadband.
Mark Evans, CEO, Telefónica UK, said: “I believe 5G is going to revolutionise the way people and businesses use mobile connectivity, unlocking huge possibilities for our economy and society.
"No one in the country has all the answers today, but I’m excited about getting it into the hands of our customers and working with leading partners to help shape the future of 5G for the next generation.”
Matt Warman, Digital Minister, said: "We want the UK to be a global leader in 5G and for the majority of the population to have access to a 5G signal by 2027.
"This investment by O2 is a great step forward in rolling out the technology across our home nations, providing world-class infrastructure to help us grow our economy and compete strongly."
In total, O2 is now investing over £2m a day in its network.