O2 has enhanced its network in busy places ahead of 5G

By James Rogerson 13 May 2019

5g signal

O2’s 5G network is expected to be switched on later this year, but you don’t need to wait for 5G to get massively enhanced mobile services in some areas, as – partially in preparation for 5G – the network has improved network performance by around 50% in a number of iconic locations.

The upgrade work was done in partnership with Wireless Infrastructure Group (WIG) and is part of O2’s work to get its network 5G-ready.

Numerous shopping centres, stadiums, hotels and conference centres are benefitting from this enhanced network performance, and while O2 hasn’t provided a full list of upgraded locations, we know they include the following:

  • Anfield Stadium
  • Lord’s Cricket Ground
  • Savoy Hotel in London
  • The Ned and Pullman hotels in London
  • King’s Cross
  • Canary Wharf
  • ExCel London
  • Bentall Centre in Kingston
  • Bluewater in Kent
  • Meadowhall in Sheffield
  • The INTU Trafford Centre in Manchester
  • Many other INTU properties including Milton Keynes, Eldon Square, Metrocentre, Lakeside, Derby, Watford, Victoria and Uxbridge

As well as these upgrades providing increased performance now, they also help lay the groundwork for 5G. As Scott Coates, CEO of Wireless Infrastructure Group explains:

“WIG’s neutral-host infrastructure now enables mobile services in offices, shopping malls, hotels, stadiums and other public venues that total over one billion visitors a year. Neutral host infrastructure can play a vital role enabling 5G and WIG looks forward to expanding our successful partnership with O2.”

This upgrade work – which was a multi-million-pound project – is just one of many ways O2 is improving its network and preparing for 5G. It has recently for example also announced that it will provide connectivity to test connected and autonomous vehicle technology at Millbrook Proving Ground – a tech that will benefit from 5G.

As for its commercial 5G network, we know that will initially be switched on in Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London. So if you live or work in one of those cities and you’re on O2, then your wait for 5G should almost be over.

About James Rogerson

Sub-Editor at 5G.co.uk

James is sub-editor at both 5G.co.uk and TechRadar. Also works as a researcher/ technical writer for 5G.co.uk and several other websites including TechRadar, T3, Smart TV Radar, 3G.co.uk with work on the web, in print and on TV.

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