O2 opens 'superfast' 3G London network


O2 opened up a new 3G network over London today, claiming it would help improve both coverage and download speeds.

The communications giant took advantage of a ruling by Ofcom which allowed O2 to reuse the 900MHz spectrum for 3G services instead of just 2G.

O2 said the London network would provide a 50 per cent increase in capacity and 30 per cent faster downloads, compared to before the new spectrum was allocated for 3G use.

The firm cited figures from network specialists SIRODA, which showed between October 2010 and January 2011, O2 provided better data experiences in 12 out of 13 cities than other major operators.

On average, web page access on O2 was achieved in 1.4 seconds more than three times faster than its slowest competitor.

So-called 3G900 networks have already been deployed by O2 in various UK cities, including Leeds, Birmingham and Manchester.

"We've acted quickly to bring the benefits of 3G over 900MHz spectrum to our customers and we're thrilled with the results," said Nigel Purdy, chief technology officer (CTO) for Telefonica O2 UK.

He explained the firm had plans to "intelligently layer" its network to ensure customers could access 2G, 3G, HSPA+, LTE and Wi-Fi connections.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.