O2 has officially announced that it is going to launch its next-generation 5G mobile network this year. The firm is planning to start off the roll out in the capitals of the UK’s member countries, namely Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, and London. The firm said it will expand the high-speed network out to other places in the country in 2020 to coincide with a wider availability of 5G handsets.
The firm has said that it is also going to be creating so-called ‘5G innovation spaces’ aimed at businesses of all sizes. This should help O2 improve the service as it gears up to roll out the network to other places in the UK. O2 said it has partnered with construction, retail, transport, and utility sector businesses and that these partnerships will “bring substantial business benefits by delivering efficiency savings while also having the potential to unlock new 5G enabled revenue streams.”
Discussing the rollout, Mark Evans, CEO of Telefónica UK, said:
“5G is a promise of so much more – for consumers, business, industry and public services. O2 is working in partnership with British industry, encouraging businesses, big and small, to engage with the possibilities of 5G technology through both our testbed programme and launch deployment.”
Last year, EE announced that it would be bringing 5G to 16 cities around the country this year, and it plans to begin its rollout in the summer. O2 hasn’t said when it will be rolling out its 5G network so it could come before or after EE.