Ericsson begins O2 northern network upgrade

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Ericsson will upgrade O2’s northern infrastructure over three years, increasing coverage and data capacity and preparing for LTE implementation

Ericsson has started a “substantial” network modernisation project for O2 in the north of the UK.

The project will provide the operator’s customers with greater coverage, voice and data capacity.

The network will initially be used to provide 3G capability and support HSPA download speeds of up to 42Mbps but will be fully prepared for LTE introduction and other future developments.

The operation which will cover the area north of Birmingham, will take three years to complete and is designed to handle “significant” growth in smartphones.

There was no comment on how much the deal is worth.

Ericsson will solely deploy “state of the art” multi standard base stations and provide core network infrastructure including a high capacity ‘Mobile Switch’ solution using blade technology.

Blade technology delivers a smaller footprint, high availability, high capacity solution for the core network. It is also environmentally friendly and power efficient.

O2 UK chief technology officer Nigel Purdy said: “The modernised core network will be capable of greater capacity at a reduced operational cost, allowing for site consolidation through a smaller footprint.

“Our nationwide investment programme is centred on providing a better experience for our customers today and will set us on the road to building a ‘smarter’ future for tomorrow.

“We pride ourselves on being the UK’s home of the smartphone, pioneering the explosion in mobile data, and we focus on provisioning our network accordingly.”

Ericsson president of west and central Europe said: “With the ever increasing demands on networks from mobile broadband applications and the UK’s love of smartphones, O2’s network modernisation really addresses the needs of their customers both immediately and into the future, with the ability to deliver continuing improvements to support the customer experience.”

Nokia Siemens Networks is currently responsible for O2’s base networks in the south of the country but there was no confirmation from O2 whether a similar contract had been granted in the region.

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