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O2 5G: O2 expands its 5G network across 20 UK cities

O2 has spread the reach of its 5G network, and is aiming for coverage in 50 cities by the summer

O2 is continuing to grow the number of cities with access to its 5G network, expanding to Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, Liverpool, Newcastle, Bradford, Sheffield, Coventry, Nottingham, Norwich, Bristol, Derby and Stoke.

O2 finally joined the 5G party towards the end of 2019, with the launch of its 5G network in six UK locations – London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast and Leeds. That was followed in November by Leicester and Lisburn.

With the added 13, that makes a total of 20 cities (as well as O2’s headquarters in Slough). Note the use of the word ‘locations’. This is because O2’s 5G may be live in 20 cities, but it’s only actually available at select transport hubs, key business areas and entertainment and sports venues in these cities.

These include London’s Waterloo and Kings Cross stations, Twickenham and the Emirates Stadium, Haymarket in Edinburgh, Trinity Shopping Centre in Leeds and Belfast South city centre

Still, it’s not bad going, and looks to stick to O2’s wider rollout schedule. By summer 2020, an additional 30 towns and cities – reaching 50 in total – are planned to get the service, including Aberdeen, Kingston, Plymouth, Bradford, Liverpool, Portsmouth, Brighton, Luton, Sheffield, Birkenhead, Manchester, Southampton, Birmingham, Milton Keynes, Sunderland, Cambridge, Newbury, Warrington, Glasgow, Newcastle, Wolverhampton, Hove and Northampton.

O2’s 5G network infrastructure is being rolled out in partnership with Ericsson and Nokia and will supplement O2’s existing 4G connectivity. O2 currently offers 4G in almost 19,000 cities, towns and villages across the UK and in the first half of 2019, it upgraded 4G capacity in a further 500,000 UK postal codes.

Earlier in 2019, O2 announced it had partnered with other operators to develop the Shared Rural Network (SRN) proposal to increase total UK geographic coverage from 67% to 92%.

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