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A fifth of O2 customers using 4G mobile network

Wednesday, May 27th 2015 by Dean Reilly

More than 5m customers have signed up to a 4G mobile plan with O2 – less than two years after the network launched the service.

The company revealed that in the 21 months since offering 4G, a fifth of its customers are using fourth generation mobile technology.

O2, which has a total of 24.6m subscribers in the UK, is currently spending £3bn over five years to modernise its network.

The work is intended to improve the operator's 2G and 3G networks, and expand 4G coverage across the country.

Approximately 68% of the country has outdoor 4G coverage from O2, with the network reaching almost 500 UK towns and cities.

This marks a 27% year-on-year increase for 4G coverage from O2.

The provider has also secured 2m more 4G customers than rival Vodafone, which also launched its 4G service in August 2013.

Cable.co.uk previously reported that an agreement between the government and the four UK mobile networks – EE, O2, Three and Vodafone – led to a commitment from the companies to spend £5bn to improve mobile coverage.

'Strong competition'

The networks have already met a government target of reaching 90% 3G coverage.

As part of its licence, O2 has committed to provide indoor 4G coverage for 98% of the UK's population by 2017.

EE, Three and Vodafone said they would also match this obligation.

Speaking at the time, Derek McManus, chief operating officer of O2, said: “A partnership between government and the mobile operators is required to maximise coverage across the UK, so this agreement is a good outcome for our customers.

“It will support investment in our network, while ensuring that strong competition remains between the different networks.”

Last month, telecoms regulator Ofcom found that O2 had the second highest mobile upload speeds (13.2Mbps) behind EE (17.6Mbps).

O2 had download speeds of 13.9Mbps, third fastest of the four mobile networks.

EE, the first network to offer 4G in the UK, had the fastest average 4G download speed at 18.6Mbps.

Vodafone came second, with average downloads of 16.4Mbps, while Three reached 8.5Mbps.

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