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O2 spends big to boost UK 5G network

O2 has revealed details of a major new investment that should help boost London's readiness for the rollout of 5G networks.

The company is set to spend £80m  to improve the next-generation connectivity network across the UK capital as the world moves towards 5G.

The investment will see O2 work with Cisco to install 1,400 new small cells across London which will greatly improve mobile coverage for users both indoors and outdoors.

The company signed a deal with the City of London Corporation back in March to boost 4G mobile speeds, allowing workers to carry out tasks such as video-calling even when out and about.

O2 also hopes that the rollout will help lay the foundations for the future of 5G networks in the UK when it becomes available within the next few years.

Research undertaken by O2 earlier this year found that 5G networks will deliver more economic benefits of traditional fibre broadband by 2026, contributing an additional £7 billion a year to the UK economy.

“We recognise that customers’ need for mobile data in London and other urban areas continues to grow at a rapid pace," said Derek McManus, COO of O2.

"We understand the importance of digital connectivity in terms of driving the economy and ensuring that London can continue to compete on a global scale. This is why we’re investing in a range of innovative measures from small cells to macro masts in order to ensure we continue to give customers what they need; reliability and coverage wherever they go.”

Recent findings show that over 80 per cent of adults in the UK own a smartphone, with nearly three quarters using their devices to access the internet.

Image credit: Pixabay/Niek Verlaan

Michael Moore
Michael Moore

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro, and has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and ITProPortal.