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O2 to spend millions improving mobile coverage in London

Monday, May 22nd 2017 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

O2 will invest £80m improving mobile coverage in London by the end of the year.

The operator will install 1,400 transmitters known as ‘small cells’ across the city to increase the capacity of its network and boost both indoor and outdoor signals.

It will also build new cell towers and create a number of free O2 wi-fi hotspots around the capital.

O2 said the deployment will help meet London’s growing demand for mobile data and lay the foundations for future 5G services.

Derek McManus, O2’s chief operating officer, said: “We recognise that customers’ need for mobile data in London and other urban areas continues to grow at a rapid pace.

“We understand the importance of digital connectivity in terms of driving the economy and ensuring that London can continue to compete on a global scale.

“This is why we’re investing in a range of innovative measures from small cells to macro masts in order to ensure we continue to give customers what they need; reliability and coverage wherever they go.”

Last month, O2 announced a multi-million pound collaboration with Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Ltd (CTIL) to deliver a free public wi-fi network in the Square Mile.

Making not spots a thing of the past

Small cells placed on street furniture and buildings around the financial district will enhance mobile coverage at street level.

Businesses, residents and visitors should all benefit from the service, which will replace the current one provided by The Cloud.

The City of London Corporation’s Mark Boleat said it should make not spots – areas where there is no mobile signal – a thing of the past in the City.

“Free, reliable, high-speed wireless internet is a must for any modern, competitive financial centre,” he said.

According to an OpenSignal report published in October, O2 customers in London can get a 4G signal around two thirds of the time.

Overall, the State of Mobile Networks report found that London had the best 4G coverage of anywhere in the UK but some of the slowest speeds.

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