Thursday 11 May 2017

O2 To Blanket Entire London With Its 5G Superfast Hub


The company, owned by Spain’s Telefónica, is to install 1400 so-called “small cells” across the city by the end of the year.

Unlike the old masts, small cells are the size of burglar alarms and can be fitted to lampposts and on the side of buildings.

It follows a deal with the City of London Corporation in March to fit the systems across the Square Mile.

O2’s chief operating officer Derek McManus said: “We understand the importance of digital connectivity in terms of driving the economy and ensuring that London can continue to compete on a global scale. This is why we’re investing in a range of innovative measures from small cells to macro masts.”

Most of London is covered by 4G, but industry experts expect 5G to become commercial within a few years. As well as better internet for consumers and businesses, 5G is expected to drive growth in artificial intelligence.

News of the investment came as the mobile operator revealed solid first-quarter results, with revenues up 2% to £1.38 billion. Underlying profits edged up 0.6% to £358 million in what chief executive Mark Evans called a “challenging market”.

Telefónica gave no indication today about whether it would press ahead with plans to offload O2 in a £10 billion stock market float, having shelved the idea last year. The plans could hinge on the outcome of the spectrum auction later this year.



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