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O2 Extends Live 5G Mobile Network Coverage to 20 UK Cities

Wednesday, January 1st, 2020 (9:52 am) - Score 6,011

Mobile operator O2 UK (Telefonica) ended 2019 last night by announcing that they had switched-on their ultrafast 5G based mobile broadband network in a further 13 cities across the United Kingdom, which meant they finished the year with a total of 20 as planned. But coverage in the new cities remains focused upon the busiest parts.

Readers may recall the O2’s 5G network first went live in busy areas of Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, London, Slough and Leeds during October 2019, which was followed by Leicester and Lisburn in November 2019 and today those have been joined by Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, Liverpool, Newcastle, Bradford, Sheffield, Coventry, Nottingham, Norwich, Bristol, Derby and Stoke.

Much like Three UK and Vodafone, you can take advantage of 5G on O2’s recently launched “unlimited data” (Limitless) plans and it comes at no extra cost on their handset focused pay monthly “Custom Plans“. One oddity though is that only one tier on their SIM-Only plans (100GB data) includes 5G support, although as expected this is same price as their identical 4G plan. EE do unlimited data for 5G too but it costs a bit extra than on 4G.

NOTE: O2’s unlimited data plans apply a soft FUP: “If you regularly use 650GB of data per month or tether 12 or more devices we may consider this to be none permitted use and have the right to move you to a more suitable plan. EU roaming capped at 20GB per month, chargeable at 0.4p per MB afterwards.

Otherwise O2 claims to be investing over £2m a day in its network (we suspect this includes upkeep too) and their next target is to go live in a total of 50 UK cities and towns by Summer 2020.

Derek McManus, COO of Telefónica UK, said:

“We were incredibly proud to switch on our 5G network in October, and it is brilliant to hit our target of 20 towns and cities connected to our next-generation network as we head into 2020. Our range of tariffs make it easy and fair for customers to access 5G, with flexible plans that cost no more than 4G.

I believe 5G is going to revolutionise the way people and businesses use mobile connectivity, unlocking huge possibilities for our economy and society. We’re excited about getting it into the hands of our customers across the UK, and continuing to work with our partners to help shape the future of 5G for the next generation.”

The next locations to benefit from O2’s 5G rollout will include Windsor, Eton, Reading, Blackpool, Bournemouth and Guildford (they’re “aiming to commence rollout” in those areas by the end of March 2020). At this point the eagle eyed among you will have noted that O2’s 5G rollout plan has gone through a few subtle changes (e.g. Bournemouth was actually supposed to go live in 2019 but has been shifted into 2020).

Sadly O2, much like other operators (except Three UK), are currently limited to only using a single 40MHz slice of the recently released 3.4GHz band for 5G. This makes it difficult to deliver on the much hyped gigabit speeds (mobile broadband), although further radio spectrum bands are due to be auctioned off by Ofcom in 2020 and that should help to deliver performance that truly goes beyond the best of today’s 4G+.

The Rollout Plan to Summer 2020 (50 Towns and Cities)
Belfast
Blackpool
Bournemouth
Bristol
Cardiff
Coventry
Derby
Edinburgh
Eton
Guildford
Leeds
Leicester
Lisburn
London
Norwich
Nottingham
Reading
Slough
Stoke
Windsor

Aberdeen
Bradford
Brighton
Birkenhead
Birmingham
Cambridge
Glasgow
Hove
Kingston
Liverpool
Luton
Manchester
Milton Keynes
Newbury
Newcastle
Northampton
Plymouth
Portsmouth
Sheffield
Southampton
Sunderland
Warrington
Wolverhampton

Leave a Comment
18 Responses
  1. Avatar Derekgough Gough

    Use 5 g to kill yourself slowly along with led lights cooking yourself inside out .idiots

    • Avatar kaptainkandikat

      i bet you use dial up internet, live in a metal box and never leave the house. idiot

    • Avatar Random Precision

      You’ve got a nasty Gough there you need to take something for it!!

    • Avatar DontMakeMeLaugh

      Everyday you are one day closer to it anyway so what’s the problem.

    • Avatar Education is the key

      Flat world, chemtrail, tin foil hat … the idiots new enemy is the 5G

    • Avatar CarlT

      I think you need to go back to school and learn basic physics. Do pay particular attention to wavelengths.

      Still the claim it’ll cook people at least implies you know the difference between ionising and non-ionising radiation which is progress.

  2. Avatar gerarda

    would have been if nice if O2 were able to supply reliable 2or 3g coverage to those under contract with them before getting distracted by 5G

    • Avatar CarlT

      Happy New Year to ISPR’s ray of sunshine. The positivity in every comment is truly uplifting. <3

    • Avatar Archie

      @CarlT the richness of your comment makes it all the more funny. Happy New Year!

    • Avatar Leex

      O3/Vodafone seem very fine at delivering 2g/3g and 4g (they use same masts) they also support active data 3g to 4g switching

      somthing ee and 3 still don’t support witch a lot of masts share between ee{ex t-mobile masts} and 3

      After Now using Vodafone for over 6 months 3 really need to sort out there network and get LTE+ upgrades sooner then later and enable active data switch up to fast 4g when data is in use (also ee need to take broken masts reports better that have high latency and under 0.1mb speeds more as a priority)

  3. Avatar Larry ward

    Sod 5g try getting 02 to work again in Kent most of us not had it in 4mths now yet they tare our money each Mth

  4. Avatar Glyn Hughes

    What about Barnsley???

  5. Avatar Mark

    My area is probably last on the list if at all, but the nimbys are already discussing how it can be stopped, in the area, they pledged to keep opposing new mast applications to prevent mobile signals reaching the area to cause harm. They’ve succeeded since 2003

    • Avatar dave

      Presumably rates of illness are reduced in your area compared to pretty much everywhere else then?

      (Obviously a tongue-in-cheek comment before anybody starts).

  6. Avatar Archie

    Does Kingston refer to Hull in this instance?

  7. Avatar Mark

    @ Dave the General health is higher than national average, so say according to stats, more affluent than national average,more home owners, professional/ weekend homes, eccentric element,just your typical out of touch, white only areas,devoid of any reality,renacting the past.

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