The UK mobile carriers, O2 and Vodafone, have announced a deal, subject to Ofcom approval, which will see the two firms trade bands to create more efficient 5G spectrum blocks. The deal should see better coverage indoors and out in urban, suburban, and rural areas. O2 said larger contiguous blocks allow for faster speeds, lower latency, and greener 5G services.
Commenting on the deal, Mark Evans, CEO of O2, said:
“This year O2 is investing more than ever in its network to improve coverage and experience. Securing contiguous blocks of spectrum is crucial to harnessing the true power of 5G – we will have the strongest indoor and outdoor connectivity and an ultra-reliable frequency.”
Under the agreement, O2 will get a contiguous block of 80Mhz 5G spectrum and Vodafone will get blocks totalling 90Mhz of spectrum. If the deal goes through, the companies believe that it will lead to a faster rollout of 5G, something that is needed after UK politicians decided that they would ban Huawei equipment from all UK 5G networks, ultimately, slowing down the upgrade to 5G across the country.
Of course, being the digital regulator, Ofcom will need to approve the deal between the two firms. It will have to decide whether the move is fair to other players in the market before approving it.