The O2 5G network was first switched on in the UK in October 2019 and at the time of launch the operator committed to offering 5G capability to 50 towns and cities by the summer of 2020. The operator’s new locations include places such as Milton Keynes, Ipswich and Chelmsford and the expansion has been carried out by working with essential telecommunications equipment partners Nokia and Ericsson.
O2 sees its next generation 5G network as crucial in developing the national digital infrastructure, helping customers and businesses to support the economy as the UK emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic. 5G is particularly crucial to the video industry. In February 2020, O2 released research showing the transformative impact 5G connectivity could have on the UK’s live entertainment industry predicting that 5G could boost the sector by as much as £2.3 billion over the next 10 years. It noted that it could rejuvenate live experiences with the likes of technology such as virtual and augmented reality, both of which will benefit from faster connectivity.
“When we launched 5G last October, we said it was the first step on a journey. 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,” commented Derek McManus, chief operating officer at O2.“No one could have predicted the way this year has turned out. Connectivity has never been more important, and we want our network to continue to raise the bar. We firmly believe 5G has a role in helping to rebuild Britain, unlocking huge possibilities for our economy and society.”
O2’s 5G network has no premium and the company currently offers 28 5G-enabled devices, including the recently launched Apple iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 12 Pro The iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone 12 mini will be available from next month. O2 has continued to invest in new technologies to support its growing network. Approximately 10,000 LTE-M sites are now live across the country, allowing customers and businesses to make the most of next-generation IoT technologies in their day to day lives. The new network will cover 57% of premises and 58% of the population and will allow billions of devices to be connected to the internet to collect and share data.