British carrier O2 has confirmed that its 4G LTE network has reached one-third of the population, and announced in a recent press release that a huge £16 million investment should see its cellular data network support 200 new towns and cities.
The news means British iPhone owners now have even more of a viable alternative 4G carrier to EE, the country’s first – and biggest – LTE network provider. Though rival carriers O2, Vodafone, and 3 have indeed launched their own 4G LTE networks, comparably poor coverage means most iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, and iPhone 5c owners have nevertheless chosen EE and, in some cases, paid a higher price.
O2 is pushing ahead with its 4G LTE rollout, and in a recent press release the carrier noted that one-third of the British population is now covered by its 4G network. The carrier explained:
Since its 4G launch in August 2013, O2 has amassed over one million 4G customers. Those customers used more data in the 4G network’s first six months than the entire O2 network carried between 2000 and 2008, demonstrating the unprecedented demand for fast and seamless data services.
The announcement comes as O2 sheds light on its ambitious nationwide network modernisation programme – one of the largest infrastructure improvement projects taking place in the UK today. Around 25% of O2’s 2G and 3G masts will be upgraded by the end of 2014 in order to deliver an increase in call quality and all round network experience, improving both call and data connectivity at peak times and in high-density areas.
As a reminder, O2 was the first British carrier to offer Apple’s iPhone, yet when it came to deploying a 4G network EE indeed beat O2 to the finish line.
Besides providing news concerning its expanding 4G LTE network, O2’s press release also announced that the carrier is planning on investing £16 million “to bring data coverage to places that have never had it before.” Though the carrier is limiting this initiative to 3G, the move means more than 200 areas across the country “will get their first taste of 3G data coverage from O2 this year.”
This is clearly good news for British iPhone owners, since it should only see competition between the nation’s carriers further increase. As a reminder, EE recently lowered the price of its SIM-only 4G LTE plans, and another carrier – Tesco Mobile – announced that it was offering subscribers 4G at no extra cost.
Here’s hoping reliable 4G LTE access becomes even more of an affordable commodity for Brits in the coming months. We’ll keep you updated with further information as we receive it.
In the meantime, see: Age Of Empires: World Domination For iOS Is Set To Launch This Summer, Ahead Of Anticipated iTunes Revamp, Apple Goes On A Hiring Spree, and Apple Confirms That iOS, OS X And iCloud Aren’t Affected By Heartbleed Security Flaw.