O2 plans 1,500 more UK sites next year

Mobile network

O2 is investing hundreds of millions of pounds beefing up its network capacity in the UK by pledging to build 1,500 new sites in the UK next year.

The nationwide building plan, which includes a radio network upgrade, will include an additional 200 network sites in London alone - 40 of which will be up and running by the end of the year.

"Anticipating growth in demand for mobile services, we have quarter on quarter increased investment in our voice and data networks. Our 500m investment over the last two years has enabled us to offer our customers the best products in the world, including the Apple iPhone and Palm Pre," said Derek McManus, O2 UK's chief technology officer (CTO), in a statement.

"In the past 12 months the mobile industry has seen an unprecedented change in demand. The introduction of world-class devices, in combination with a wide variety of data applications, has brought about a dramatic change in customer behaviour and created an exponential demand on mobile data networks. To put this in context, watching a YouTube video on a smartphone can use the same capacity on the network as sending 500,000 text messages simultaneously."

At present, O2 claims that its 3G network is 100 per cent HSDPA-enabled and covers 84 per cent of the UK. This figure is slightly down on Orange's touted 93 per cent coverage, which is the focus of a current advertising campaign.

"We are now aggressively accelerating our network growth programme to ensure we have significant headroom for the future and retain our focus on being number one for customer satisfaction."

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.