Each day O2 spends £1.5 million on their network, to build extra sites, to offer better coverage, delivering additional capacity and upgrade the equipment to roll-out the latest data network, Long Term Evolution, LTE or 4G.
They are continuing the rollout coverage where customers need it most at locations such as railway stations, roads and at special events.
O2’s existing 3G network covers 84% of the UK population and their 2G network delivers 99% population coverage, but it’s not about littering the country with cellsites, it’s about depth and quality of service.
Long Term Evolution (LTE or 4G) is the fourth generation of mobile networks. It offers faster data speeds – up to 10 times faster than current 3G networks. To ensure a smoother, faster rollout of LTE, O2 has strengthened its collaboration with Vodafone, through their joint venture company called Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Limited. Working together they can deliver a nationwide services that meets the regulatory requirement of 98% population coverage by 2015, two years before the anticipated regulatory requirement of 2017.
O2 Vodafone Collaboration:
Cornerstone the new 50/50 joint venture company now manages a consolidation of both Telefónica UK and Vodafone UK’s existing basic network infrastructure, including towers. The joint venture will also be responsible for the building of new sites needed to extend coverage into rural and remote areas. Both companies will have access to a single grid of 18,500 masts representing an increase in sites of more than 40% for each operator. Each operator will over time take the responsibility for design, management and maintenance of the radio equipment as well as local transmission (that connects to each operator’s intelligent backbone network) in one half of the country. Telefónica UK will manage and maintain these elements in the East (including Northern Ireland and most of Scotland) and Vodafone UK in the West (including Wales).
Both companies will retain complete control over their wireless spectrum, intelligent core networks and customer data. They will continue to actively compete with each other in all products and services, enabled through the ‘intelligent’ parts of their networks.
The 4G spectrum became available in Jan 2013, therefore since then the development to upgrade the existing infrastructure to prepare for the 4G launch has commenced.
Here’s some key facts about 4G:
1. We’re launching 4G this summer, starting in key cities
2. We’re aiming to provide 98% indoor and outdoor population coverage up to two years earlier than our Ofcom regulatory requirement of 2017. This will be across 2G, 3G and 4G
3. We’ll make it as easy as possible to move to 4G once it’s available
4. If you have a number of employees, it will be possible for some to have 4G and others not to
5. You can buy 4G ready phones now:
The Sony Xperia Z 4G tablet our first 4G ready tablet is now also available. Our first Windows 8 and 4G tablet the Asus Vivo Tab Smart 4G launches in June.
One Network grid, Two Operators. An exciting future.
Back in June we announced our proposed plans to strengthen our network collaboration deal with Vodafone through a joint venture - Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Limited.