O2 to pilot new radio technology in London ahead of 5G launch next year

Plans to help boost 4G signal on London’s networks will utilise the 2.3GHz spectrum O2 acquired in the latest spectrum auction.

O2 to pilot new radio technology in London ahead of 5G launch next year - Office Phone Shop

The trials will take place in the Kings Cross and Marble Arch areas, with the aim of enhancing connectivity for O2 customers.

Nokia is to provide the equipment on two MIMO (Multiple-input multiple-output).

MIMO is a form of smart antenna technology used for wireless communications. Multiple antennas used at both the source (transmitter) and destination (receiver) combine in order to optimise speed and minimise errors.

Over 95 million people travel through the Kings Cross St Pancras area every year and over 14 million passed through Marble Arch area last year, according to Transport for London data.

O2 hope that by trialling this technology in locations where there is a high level of data traffic, this will enable them to boost coverage in these areas. At the same time, they will also be able to evaluate MIMO technology for future deployment in urban areas.

This pilot will use the additional 2.3GHz spectrum that O2 secured earlier this year in the spectrum auction. O2 was the only UK network to secure extra 2.3GHz capacity to boost its existing network, at a cost of £205.8m.

O2 chief technology officer Brendan O’Reilly said:

“We recognise that customers’ need for mobile data in London and other urban areas continues to grow at a rapid pace. This is why we are working with Nokia to trial Massive MIMO and to explore the opportunities to provide the increased capacity and denser coverage for our customers, in the areas they need it most.”

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