Categories: BroadbandNetworks

O2 Invests £80m In London Small Cells To Boost 4G And Pave Way For 5G

O2 is investing £80 million in its London network and will deploy more than 1,400 small cells across the capital to boost capacity and lay the foundations for 5G services from 2020.

The operator now has 12.4 million 4G customers across the country (up 31.5 percent year on year) and claims its LTE service now covers 96 percent of the UK population.

It also says it invests £2 million a day in its UK infrastructure but is allocating an additional £80 million to meet data demand from businesses and consumers in London.

O2 London 5G

Earlier this year O2 won the contract to provide smart-cell powered Wi-Fi to the City of London. Through this partnership, O2 will build 400 smart cells in the Square Mile, while this latest expansion will see additional cells deliver ‘targeted’ coverage to key areas across Greater London.

The Telefonica-owned operator also has the O2 Wifi network of wireless hotspots.

“We recognise that customers’ need for mobile data in London and other urban areas continues to grow at a rapid pace,” said Derek McManus, O2 COO. “We understand the importance of digital connectivity in terms of driving the economy and ensuring that London can continue to compete on a global scale.

“This is why we’re investing in a range of innovative measures from small cells to macro masts in order to ensure we continue to give customers what they need; reliability and coverage wherever they go.”

Recent studies have suggested the overall quality of London 4G is less than other major UK cities which have better 4G speeds and coverage.

Quiz: Are you up to speed on 4G?

Steve McCaskill

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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