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O2 UK Extends 4G Mobile to 91,000 Extra Postcodes in 2020

Monday, June 29th, 2020 (7:31 am) - Score 2,371

Mobile operator O2 has announced that they now have 4G (mobile broadband) coverage in over 18,000 regional UK towns, villages and hamlets (many of them rural), which follows a service upgrade across over 91,000 postcodes since the start of 2020; including almost 400 tourist hotspots “ahead of a record staycation summer.”

Some of the many new rural locations to have benefited from this include Inveruglas on the shore of Loch Lomond, as well as Cynheidre in South Wales. Other well-known destinations include the famous Cat and Fiddle road in the Peak District, and Machrihanish Beach on the Mull of Kintyre in Scotland, just in time for what is expected to be the nation’s biggest stay-at-home summer.

Multiple National Trust and English Heritage sites have also welcomed a 4G boost, from the ruins of St Augustine’s Abbey in Canterbury, to the scenic Shieldaig Island, tucked away in the Scottish Highlands on Loch Torridon.

The operator reiterated that they are investing over £2m per day to maintain and improve their network alongside primary vendors Ericsson and Nokia. O2 has also continued to roll-out its next generation 5G (mobile broadband) network, which has started to go live across busy parts of 60 UK towns and cities (here). Not to mention their deployment of low power LTE-M technology for IoT connectivity.

Brendan O’Reilly, CTO of O2, said:

“It has never been more important for people to keep connected. We have a collective responsibility to help rebuild our nation, and the telecoms industry stands at the forefront of this effort. With the government signalling a return of tourism in the coming days and weeks, we want to make it easy for people to enjoy summer safely. All with the knowledge that they can venture to pockets of the countryside and still keep in touch with friends and family.

We are continuing to add 4G to even smaller rural communities across the length and breadth of Britain, at the same time improving the experience for our customers in towns and cities by deploying more spectrum into the places where they need it most. We will also play a leading role – alongside the other network operators – in ensuring the Shared Rural Network does its job in eradicating rural not-spots.”

The latest work is separate from the new £1bn Shared Rural Network (SRN) project, which will work to extend geographic 4G mobile coverage to 95% of the UK by the end of 2025. Deployments via O2 to locations under the SRN agreement with the Government and rival operators is expected to begin during H2 2020.

O2 has connected 67 points of interest to 4G in 2020 so far, in the following areas:

Argyll and Bute, Bournemouth, Bracknell Forest, Conwy, Derbyshire, Devon, Essex, Gwynedd, Hampshire, Highland, Isle of Wight, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, London, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Reading, St. Helens, Suffolk, Surry, Warwickshire, West Berkshire, West Sussex and Wokingham.

O2 has delivered a 4G boost to 323 points of interest in 2020 so far, in the following areas:

Aberdeen, Bath, Belfast, Birmingham, Blackpool, Bournemouth, Bradford, Bradford, Bristol, Calderdale, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Coventry, Darlington, Darlington, Derby, Derbyshire, Derry, Devon, Doncaster, Dorset, Dundee, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Falkirk, Fife, Gateshead, Glasgow, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Kingston-Upon-Hull, Kirklees, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Medway, Middlesbrough, Milton Keynes, Norfolk, North Somerset, North Yorkshire, Northamptonshire, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Perth and Kinross, Peterborough, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Reading, Sheffield, Solihull, Somerset, South Lanarkshire, Southampton, Southampton, Stockport, Stockton-on-Tees, Suffolk, Sunderland, Surrey, Thurrock, Torbay, Wakefield, Warwickshire, West Sussex and Windsor/Maidenhead.

O2 has connected 334 points of interest to 5G (outdoor, ground level coverage) in the following areas:

Aberdeen, Banstead, Belfast, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cardiff, Coventry, Derby, Eastbourne, Edinburgh, Gateshead, Glasgow, Leeds, Leicester, Lisburn, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle Upon Tyne, North Shields, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Sheffield, Slough, South Tyneside, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunbury-on-Thames, Weybridge and York.

Leave a Comment
11 Responses
  1. Avatar Sam

    West Sussex is a big place, where in West Sussex?

    • Operators tend not to list every single individual site, so you usually have to use their flaky coverage checkers to figure it out.

    • Avatar Mike

      Doesn’t O2 actually list masts on their coverage checker?

    • Avatar gerarda

      @Mike

      The mast location tells you why O2 think there is coverage of an area, but doesnt actually show all the reasons (hills, woods, etc why the coverage map is overly optimistic

  2. Avatar 5G_Infinity

    Nice picture of a mast (not a tower), not clear it has mobile on it unless its at the bottom, right hand side?

  3. Avatar LBB

    Do they call it “O2” because that’s what everyone says when they see more than 2 bars of signal?

    They should perhaps rebrand the network as “1Bar”

  4. Avatar Tim

    Is 4G boost just their term for rolling out LTE-A (carrier aggregation)?

  5. Avatar Not a happy bunny

    Biggest pack of lies from O2. I live in South Devon (Torbay) and the speeds here are so bad that mobile internet is not possible in a lot of places even outdoors. The signal is so weak old school text messages fail.
    The only way to use a smart phone in town or around the bay area (this includes Brixham, Paignton, Torquay and Newton Abbott) is to find a free wifi hotspot.
    You can forget using your smart phone at all unless you are in Exeter or Plymouth if you live in south Devon. I travelled to North Devon several times last year and the phone signal is even worse unless you live in Barnstaple or Bideford, and you can forget anyway in between. Not a chance. Nothing, zero, no signal.
    I’m with Giffgaff and are now so upset with their service I’m finally going to leave. Should have done it years ago.

  6. Avatar Mark

    Still only 2G on nearest mast to me, never upgraded to anything else, well we did get EDGE a few years ago, good to see lots of rural areas if true, my town will stay a notspot I suspect, very anti phone mast!

  7. Avatar Name

    We should see a massive speed-up from 3Mbit/s to 4.5Mbit/s

  8. Avatar giffgaff user

    Pot luck with mast location. I use giffgaff and never get slower than 32mbps D/L 15mbps U/L even during Covid. Was faster pre Covid in fact it’s slowly creeping back up nearer 40/18 of late

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