O2 demands much better liaison with Govt over 5G


Collaboration essential to support coverage and connectivity demands

between the government and other operators to fully utilise the potential of 5G in the UK. This was the statement from O2 CEO Mark Evans (pictured above) speaking at the O2 Arena (Feb 21) to reveal the operator’s Q4 and full financial year results.

Evans said the government is “the biggest landlord” in Britain that can offer greater access to properties that will encourage operators to invest in connectivity that will benefit consumers and UK businesses”.

According to an O2 commissioned study, 5G will boost the economy by £10 billlion annually by 2026.

After  five years of launch the economy will see a boost of £7 billion as highlighted by Evans, in his plead for the government to offer better access to properties, for long term benefits.

He said: “The £7 billion coming into the economy after 5-6 years dwarfs any short term gain from charging operators rental space for equipment.

A mind-set for long term economic growth is what the UK needs, instead of looking to boost local council budgets.”

O2 chief operating officer Derek McManus added: “Just building a 5G capable network is not going to drive adoption, it’s that collaboration between government, operators regulators to make it available so you can roll it out and understanding the use cases will drive real adoption”.

Alongside announcing its full financial year results the operator also announced the O2 Arena will become a 5G test-bed in the second half of 2018.

Installation will begin in March, test-bed will be using multi-access edge computing from Nokia.

Customers can experience the potential speed of 5G (up to 100Mbps) in select parts of the venue, including the O2 Priority Lounge.

“The arrival of 5G technology, and the range of unprecedented benefits it will bring, will play a key role in keeping our society and the British economy moving for years to come.

“That’s why we are delighted to announce our plans to launch a 5G test bed at The O2 later this year.

“At O2, we are obsessive about always delivering for our customers, and this test bed is a further example of our pioneering attitude to putting our customers first and backing the importance of mobile for Britain’s future.”