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O2 UK Sets October 2019 Rollout for Ultrafast 5G Mobile Broadband

Thursday, July 25th, 2019 (8:46 am) - Score 1,784
o2 uk logo white background telefonica

Mobile operator O2 (Telefonica) has today confirmed that their next generation ultrafast 5G (mobile broadband) network will join EE, Vodafone and Three UK by beginning its commercial rollout in October 2019. The aim being to go live in 20 towns and cities this year and a total of 50 by Summer 2020.

The operator, which claims to be “Britain’s best network for coverage” (this statement is actually based on a uSwitch award as EE is well known to have the best geographic UK coverage), will initially switch on across key hubs in areas of Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, London, Slough and Leeds.

The early “intelligence-led rollout strategy” will focus on areas where “customers need it most,” such as transport hubs (train stations), key business areas and entertainment and sports venues (e.g. The O2 and Twickenham Stadium). This is very much akin to what EE and Vodafone are already doing and indeed is fairly normal.

Sadly today’s announcement doesn’t include much information on prices, predicted mobile broadband speeds or packages. Full detail of O2’s tariffs, handsets and devices will instead be revealed later in 2019, although during August they will start selling the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G and Xiaomi Mix 3 5G smartphones to consumers. Customers on O2’s custom plans will be able to upgrade to a 5G handset when the time is right for them.

Mark Evans, CEO, Telefónica UK, said:

“5G is going to be a game changer for our country. Whether it’s for people or businesses, the power of this next-generation network is going to unlock a world of possibilities for our economy and society.

As we switch on our network across the country, our intelligence-led roll-out prioritises the key areas in towns and cities first – the places where our customers need, and will use, 5G the most. We’re also giving our customers maximum flexibility with our industry-leading custom plans, letting people adopt 5G at a time that’s right for them.”

One big question mark is over whether or not O2 will respond to the “unlimited data” plans now being offered by Three UK and Vodafone for both their 4G and 5G networks. We suspect that O2’s network may find this harder to achieve and that they may instead move to undercut EE’s capped data allowances (a softer target), but at this stage the operator isn’t willing to say.

Today’s 5G announcement also comes as O2 confirms its new business division, O2 Business, which is due to launch on 1st August 2019. O2 Business will consolidate the operator’s B2B activity across Enterprise and Wholesale partners, while also bringing together all product development (including IOT, data and 5G) alongside its Enterprise and Wholesale sales and commercial teams.

O2’s 5G Rollout Plan for 2019 (20 Towns and Cities)


Rollout Plan for Early 2020 to Summer (30 Towns and Cities)

Milton Keynes

Several more towns and cities have yet to be added to their early 2020 rollout plan.

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1 Response
  1. Avatar Name

    Same frequency with 100MHz channel width in Poland on Huawei Mate 20 X 5G and max download speed is about 600Mbps while upload is about 40Mbps. Even if the uplink to the station will be 10Gbps, then I can’t imagine of using this as a home broadband. Not if they sell it to more than 50 people living in the same area.

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