O2 has announced that its 4G rollout schedule is running six weeks ahead of schedule with Edinburgh, Newcastle, Huddersfield and Rotherham all now hooked up to its network.
This brings the total number of cities covered to 13, plus 120 surrounding towns, giving 17 million people to access the service, O2 claims. The firm added that this means 28 percent of indoor properties in the UK are covered.
The firm said another three million people would be able to access 4G by the end of February 2014 as it continues to roll out its network. O2 has coverage obligations to ensure 98 percent of the population can access its network as its services run in the far-reaching 800MHz spectrum band.
O2 said in a blog post that work was still ongoing to improve its network for all services. "We’re continuing to completely modernise our entire network and investing £1.5m every day on replacing and upgrading equipment to ensure our 2G and 3G networks continue to deliver the best experience," the post said.
The speed and scale of the rollout is impressive and will help O2 start to make up the ground made by EE after its 10-month head start in the 4G market. To date EE has over one million 4G customers. O2 has not revealed how many customers are using its services, though.
The huge demand being placed on mobile spectrum means the rollout of 4G services is vital for the future of the UK’s digital infrastructure. Ofcom outlined plans earlier this week to boost the amount of available spectrum by freeing up more frequency that is currently used for other services.
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