British mobile network operator (MNO) O2 UK has announced that it plans to switch on its 5G network in October this year. In a press release outlining its plans, the MNO said that it will initially make 5G available across ‘key hubs’ in areas of Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, London, Slough and Leeds. Looking beyond that, it aims to have extended coverage to a total of 20 towns and cities by the end of 2019, with that figure rising to 50 by summer 2020. O2 claims its intelligence-led rollout strategy has been driven by data and insight that identifies where customers will benefit from 5G the most, while suggesting its next-generation network will ‘radically improve capacity and reliability in key locations, allowing customers to access super-fast speeds even during peak periods’.
Meanwhile, the cellco has confirmed it will begin offering 5G-capable handsets from next month for those customers that want to prepare for the forthcoming network switch-on. Full details of the operator’s 5G tariffs, as well its range of devices and handsets, will be revealed later this year, it noted.
Commenting, O2 UK CEO Mark Evans said: ‘As we switch on our network across the country, our intelligence-led roll-out prioritises the key areas in towns and cities first – the places where our customers need, and will use, 5G the most. We’re also giving our customers maximum flexibility with our industry-leading custom plans, letting people adopt 5G at a time that’s right for them.’