O2: 900MHz 3G to boost download speeds by 30%
By Stewart Mitchell
Posted on 18 Mar 2011 at 11:27
O2 says it has switched on a new 3G network across London, claiming the service will boost mobile data download speeds by 30%.
According to the carrier, it is the first mobile company in the UK to exploit changes to spectrum rules that allow providers to use the 900MHz spectrum to deliver 3G data.
“This 3G900 switch-on is the latest in a series of network enhancements,” said Nigel Purdy, chief technology officer for Telefónica O2 UK. “The upgrade brings the benefits of 3G over 900MHz spectrum to our customers.”
Prior to the spectrum rule changes rubber-stamped by Ofcom in January, the 900MHz frequency band was only licensed for 2G services in the UK.
O2 said it has already deployed 3G900 services in Leeds, Birmingham and Manchester, with other cities to be switched on over the coming months.
As well as faster speeds, O2 claimed the upgrade should provide 50% more capacity on its network as the 3G900 data stream would run in tandem with its existing 3G services.
The move confirms 02's strategy of using as many wireless technologies as possible to deliver wireless to end users as mobile operators struggle with burgeoning mobile traffic.
“Our strategy is to intelligently layer our network to give our customers connection to 2G, 3G, HSPA+, LTE and Wi-Fi,” said Purdy.
O2 said the 3G900 services would be available on UMTS/HSPA 900MHz compatible smartphones and tablets, which include the HTC Desire and Apple's iPhone and iPad 3G.
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