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O2’s 5G Network Now Live in Over 150 UK Towns and Cities

Thursday, January 14th, 2021 (12:01 am) - Score 4,536
5g mobile signal bars uk

Mobile operator O2 UK has today announced that their new ultrafast 5G based mobile broadband network has now gone live across a total of over 150 UK towns and cities (up from 108 in October and 60 in June 2020), which includes new locations like Bournemouth, Cheltenham, Doncaster and Southampton.

Unlike other operators, which were hit hard after the Government’s U-turn in July 2020 to ban “high risk vendorHuawei from future 5G deployments (here), O2 has benefited from their early decision to go with solutions from rivals Nokia and Ericsson instead. Suffice to say that this is enabling them to catch-up, despite having an otherwise late start to deployment in October 2019.

NOTE: O2’s 5G attracts no premium and includes its “Limitless” plan for unlimited data.

However, the operator, much like some of their rivals, currently only has access to a limited 40MHz slice of the 3.4GHz band for dedicated 5G services (excluding any dynamic spectrum sharing with 4G), which will make it difficult for them to deliver on 5G’s much hyped gigabit speeds. But Ofcom may help to resolve this when they kick off their next spectrum auction (this is imminent).

Take note that it often takes a long time for operators to achieve strong coverage of a location once they start a new deployment (months to years) and the initial focus is often on the busiest areas, as well as primary cell/mast sites (i.e. they don’t magically hit 100% coverage from day one).

For example, O2 are still increasing their 5G footprint and capacity in existing places like London, Birmingham, Glasgow, Bristol, Liverpool and Manchester amongst others.

Derek McManus, COO of O2, said:

“We are delighted with the progress of our 5G rollout and to be able to offer customers in over 150 locations the benefits of our high-speed network.

Once again we are facing tough lockdown restrictions and we are focused on ensuring we meet the demand for increased network capacity and reliability to keep everyone connected during this time. We’re also proud of leading the charge from an environmental point of view, with 67% of our estate powered by renewable energy as we work with landlords to encourage usage of more renewable sources.”

All of this will no doubt help to benefit their merger agreement with cable broadband ISP Virgin Media, which will hopefully get the final green light soon. Sadly, O2 didn’t provide a full list of 5G locations in their PR this time around, but thankfully they were kind enough to send us one when we asked (see below) and the coverage checker on their website should help.

O2’s 5G Locations (Total to January 2021)
Place name
Aberdeen
Ambleside
Ashford
Aughton
Aylesbury
Banstead
Basildon
Basingstoke
Beaconsfield
Bedford
Belfast
Bilston
Birkenhead
Birmingham
Blackburn
Blackpool
Blaydon
Bolton
Bournemouth
Bradford
Bradley Stoke
Bridge of Don
Brighton
Bristol
Brombourgh
Bury St Edmunds
Byfleet
Cambridge
Cardiff
Chadwell St Mary
Chatham
Chelmsford
Cheltenham
Chesterfield
Chipstead
Clacton-on-Sea
Colchester
Coventry
Darlington
Dartford
Derby
Dewsbury
Dinas Powis
Doncaster
Dudley
Dundee
Dunstable
Durham
Dyce
Eastbourne
Edinburgh
Egham
Epsom
Esher
Eton and Windsor
Falmer
Gateshead
Gatton Bottom
Gillingham
Glasgow
Gloucester
Gravesend
Grays
Great Yarmouth
Halifax
Harlington
Harlow
Hastings
Hebburn
Hemel Hempstead
Hextable
High Wycombe
Hove
How Wood
Huddersfield
Hull
Inverness
Ipswich
Iver Heath
Jarrow
Lancaster
Leeds
Leicester
Lincoln
Lisburn
Liverpool
Llandudno
London
Longford
Loughborough
Lowestoft
Luton
Maidstone
Manchester
Mansfield
Middlesbrough
Milton Keynes
Monifieth
Morley
Musselburgh
New Denham
Newbury
Newcastle Upon Tyne
Newtownabbey
North Shields
Northampton
Norwich
Nottingham
Nuneaton
Orpington
Oxford
Peterborough
Plymouth
Portsmouth
Potters Bar
Rainham
Reading
Redhill
Rochdale
Rotherham
Royal Tunbridge Wells
Rugby
Salford
Sheffield
Shepperton Green
Slough
Solihull
South Shields
Southampton
Southend-On-Sea
Staines
Stevenage
Stockport
Stockton
Stoke-on-Trent
Stranraer
Strathclyde
Sunbury
Sunderland
Swansea
Swindon
Thundersley
Tynemouth
Wakefield
Warrington
Washington
Watford
Wavetree
West Bromwich
Weybridge
Whickham
Whitley Bay
Wolverhampton
Worthing
York

Leave a Comment
21 Responses
  1. Avatar Jooles says:

    Strathclyde is on the list. That must be a record for 5G coverage. It covers over 2.25 million people in Scotland, including some very remote areas indeed. Well done O2!

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strathclyde

    Place Name sounds interesting too. Must go there once lockdown is over.

    1. Avatar Buggerlugz says:

      Could visit Barnard castle perhaps, test your eyesight at the same time…..

  2. Avatar Ryan says:

    I live in a town that falls under Strathclyde and I don’t have any 5G coverage…. the next town, the next town after that and indeed the one after that doesn’t either so I’m not quite sure what they are defining as ‘Strathclyde’

    1. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      From the article:

      “Take note that it often takes a long time for operators to achieve strong coverage of a location once they start a new deployment (months to years) and the initial focus is often on the busiest areas, as well as primary cell/mast sites (i.e. they don’t magically hit 100% coverage from day one).”

    2. Avatar Quark999 says:

      Similar to Strathclyde, their own checker shows absolutely no 5G coverage anywhere near Reading. So not only don’t they magically hit 100%, they seem to announce at precisely 0%.

      “Eton and Windsor” (which is an odd way of putting it) is essentially the M4 and Legoland. Although I suppose that’s actually quite sensible.

    3. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      Worth taking a look at today’s announcement, near the bottom, from EE as they very nearly call O2 out on this:

      https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2021/01/ee-starts-deploying-ultrafast-5g-in-13-more-uk-towns-and-cities.html

  3. Avatar Essa says:

    Ona positive note in this article, both Aylesbury and High Wycombe is on the list. I am about 2 Miles outside HW.

    Now this made me want to move to O2 as it seem their coverage is by far better, yet their offering is rubbish. They don’t have a simple Sim Only bundle with nothing extra. Instead they offer Disney+ and the average monthly cost is quite high which is a bit of a shame.

    1. Avatar Essa says:

      On that note, i just switched to O2 from Three. Found a offer via Uswitch via Hotukdeals. £8 for unlimted txt and voice + 10Gb data which is enough during Lockdown (most browsing and video watching is done via wifi).

  4. Avatar Tim says:

    Interesting. I might have to go and test. Looks like they have beaten EE to a town near me.

    I was there last week and 4G/LTE was terrible. Hopefully, they have added LTE-A now as well.

  5. Avatar Sam says:

    Just wish Vodafone would hurry up..

    1. Avatar tim says:

      Me too. Think I’m almost ready to jump ship from Vodafone. Still no LTE-A where I am. Although to be fair O2 even with LTE-A is slower…

      If only EE could provide indoor coverage I’d switch to EE.

  6. Avatar Meadmodj says:

    These are press releases and should be treated as such. Like others if you go to the O2 coverage map you will see it only applies to parts of the Town/City and is often shown as Outdoor 5G only. They also don’t refer to their additional 5G terms and conditions nor the fact that unless you are at certain locations even on 5G you are unlikely get Ultra speeds.
    Applies to all providers, we are a long way off from the potential of the 5G technologies.

    1. Avatar Essa says:

      you are right, the coverage is limited, but still! If like me, you have a 5g phone, and you live near a town where they have coverage and the offer is good, why not.

      It also gives me the opportunity to try the O2 network which I have not been on for so many years.

    2. Avatar Meadmodj says:

      Whilst some providers offer 5G at no extra cost or a marginal difference it is a change in contract and people need to be aware that the terms may have changed including potential data caps, roaming, fall back to 3G/4G, yearly price rises and importantly no promise regarding speeds. In addition some 5G devices currently being sold are based on early chipsets which may not support all of the 5G technologies, or to a lower performance, and may not support future frequency spectrum/capacity going forward.

      It is obviously a personal choice and what suits personal use but currently unless you are going to stay within 5G range outdoors most of the time the benefit may be limited against the cons for most.

  7. Avatar Randy says:

    Bedford checking in.

    1 mast. next to the hospital. same as three (in fact, i think it’s the same mast).
    zero masts anywhere else in town.

  8. Avatar William Wilkinson says:

    Wait, I see Lancaster on that list. Let me do some coverage checking…

  9. Avatar Oggy says:

    I’m liking the way they mention Aberdeen, Bridge Of Don and Dyce separately when Bridge Of Don and Dyce are suburbs of Aberdeen.

  10. Avatar Jason says:

    O2 status check website still shows no 5g in my town, yet your list has my town on it. What’s the time frame for this list?

  11. Avatar tinker says:

    Well, so ‘live’ means ‘has 1 or more masts in the area’ then according to O2. It’s one mast here, and the coverage checker is an absolute fairy story, at least if you know anything about geography.

    That being said, when it comes to data networks, oddly enough O2 are the first to bring 5G of any level here so that’s something I suppose. EE and Three are 4G, while a data request on Vodafone has a pigeon turn up to take your order.

  12. Avatar JItterPinger says:

    So I’m just wondering here what the point of 5G…..

    Before it’s able to acheive its potential (speeds) its needs a good width of spectrum and there is barely any available…

    Three has most spectrum currently but the chances of remaining 3 networks getting good shares of the offering available and also getting the coverage to usable level.

    Now I can understand it in public places where masses ‘used’ to congregate and strip the bones of mast capacities but I feel like networks should realistically be shifting spectrum to continue riding 4G for longer.

    or is this now just the upgrader paths and reality is that 4G will soon enough be history and a generation of smart phones go in the bin.

  13. Avatar Aaqil Mahmood says:

    Never saw 5G symbol on my O2 phone

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