O2 first operator to switch to new 3G 900MHz network


Nine more cities to benefit as O2 claims it will offer greater coverage, over a 50 per cent increase in network capacity and 30 per cent faster downloads

O2 has extended the use of 900MHz spectrum to deliver 3G coverage to nine more cities.

O2 customers in Bradford, Bristol, Glasgow, Nottingham, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Leicester, Sheffield and Liverpool now have access to the spectrum, which was previously reserved for 2G services.

The operator began using the new frequency in March to provide 3G signal in London, Leeds, Manchester and Birmingham after receiving permission from Ofcom at the start of the year.

Other network operators have yet to follow suit.

O2 claims the new frequency range offers an increase in network capacity of 50 per cent and 30 per cent faster downloads.

However, only 900MHz-compatible devices such as the iPhone 4 and iPad 2 can take advantage of the extra frequency, leaving older handsets such as the iPhone 3GS reliant on other frequencies previously used for 3G.

O2 UK chief technology officer Nigel Purdy said: “Our strategy is to intelligently layer out network to give our customers connection to 2G, 3G HSPA+, LTE and Wi-Fi seamlessly, simply and at speed.”