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Joining rivals BT/EE, Vodafone and Three UK, and claiming to be able to demonstrate real-world 5G business use cases that can potentially boost the British economy, O2 has become the latest mobile network operator in the UK to offer a 5G network.
The 5G network is launching in six locations across the UK: Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, London, Slough and Leeds.
The O2 network will initially switch on in places where the operator says it is needed most, such as busy footfall areas around London Waterloo and King’s Cross railway stations, Haymarket in Edinburgh, Trinity Shopping Centre in Leeds and Belfast South city centre.
It has also been rolled out at London’s Twickenham rugby ground and the Emirates football stadium. The network will be live in a total of 20 towns and cities by the end of 2019, and 50 by summer 2020.
O2 currently offers four 5G-enabled devices: the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, Samsung Galaxy Note10+ 5G, Samsung Galaxy A90 (5G), and the Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 5G.
Aiming to establish unique selling points, compared with its competitors, O2 is promising no less than a “revolutionary” custom plan, including an unlimited data option, at the same price as 4G equivalents.
Mark Evans, Telefónica UK
O2 claims to have launched 5G business tariffs to suit businesses of every size, whatever their data requirements. Business customers large or small can take on a so-called “no premium” 5G access bolt-on, which can be added to a customer’s subscription, without the need to change their contract.
The operator has also sealed what it says are “meaningful” 5G business partnerships. These include building a smart ambulance with Samsung and Visionable, the first-ever 5G-powered live TV advert with ITN Productions, building a smart factory with Yamazaki Mazak, and working with Northumbrian Water Group on how 5G will transform the way the utilities firm operates, empowers and safeguards staff.
“I believe 5G is going to revolutionise the way people and businesses use mobile connectivity, unlocking huge possibilities for our economy and society,” said Mark Evans, CEO of O2 parent Telefónica UK. “No one in the country has all the answers today, but I’m excited about getting it into the hands of our customers and working with leading partners to help shape the future of 5G for the next generation.”
Read more about 5G
- Vodafone’s 5G network goes live in Gatwick Airport’s South Terminal.
- Singapore’s telco regulator will award 5G spectrum to mobile operators by mid-2020, culminating in the deployment of two nationwide 5G networks by the end of 2022.
- Huawei calls on 5G industry to collaborate more, especially with regard to regulatory policy.