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O2 hits the switch on superfast 3G network

O2 has become the first UK mobile operator to roll out its 'superfast' 3G network.

The company today booted its 900MHz network which uses bandwidth no longer needed by the old-fangled 2G infrastructure to add speed and capacity to the 3G system, bringing faster downloads and better coverage to Londoners.

Ofcom announced back in January that it would allow 'GSM refarming' and other operators are expected to follow O2's lead in the coming weeks and months.

The London launch, which is expected to provide a 50 per cent increase in the capital's current capacity and a 30 per cent boost to downloads speeds, will be replicated in major cities across the UK including Birmingham Leeds and Manchester.

Mobile outfits Everything Everywhere and Three both objected to the use of 2G spectrums in the 3G system, mainly because they didn't own any, but have backed off because of an Ofcom plan to cap the amount of bandwidth under 1GHz any single company can own.