O2 plans to improve 3G mobile network in 2010Future 'headroom' planned due to phone data surge

19 November 2009


O2 mobile customers with internet-enabled smartphones such as the Apple iPhone 3GS and the Palm Pre could soon benefit from an improved mobile network, following an O2 announcement of plans to build 1,500 new mobile network sites across the UK in 2010. 

You can find out more about the many multimedia features of the iPhone in the Which? interactive review of the Apple iPhone 3G S, and keep an eye on Which? phones coverage over the next few days for a Which? First Look at the Palm Pre smartphone. 

How O2's 3G network measures up to competitors

Which? mobile services expert Ceri Stanaway says: 'O2's plans to accelerate growth of its mobile network and build significant headroom for mobile data will come as welcome news to O2 mobile customers that struggle to get a decent 3G signal in parts of the UK. 

'Despite O2 having had exclusivity for two years on the Apple iPhone 3G S, a handset which relies on the 3G network for many of its functions, Ofcom 3G coverage maps published earlier this year suggested O2 had less extensive 3G mobile coverage across the UK than mobile rivals. 

'As the smartphone market hots up, investment in mobile networks will be key for companies such as O2 to ensure they remain competitive.'

O2's announcement of planned investment in its network follows recent news that Orange and Vodafone have signed deals to sell the iPhone on their mobile networks. 

What is 3G?

3G is short for third generation and gives you faster mobile internet access, video messaging and downloads, and even the ability to watch TV on your mobile. A good 3G signal is also essential if you want to access internet on the go on your laptop via a mobile broadband dongle.

Demand on mobile data networks 'unprecedented'

Derek McManus, Chief Technology Officer for O2 in the UK said: 'Anticipating growth in demand for mobile services, we have increased investment in our voice and data networks. Our £500m investment over the last two years has enabled us to offer our customers the best products in the world, including the Apple iPhone and Palm Pre.

'In the past 12 months the mobile industry has seen an unprecedented change in demand. The introduction of world-class devices, in combination with a wide variety of data applications, has brought about a dramatic change in customer behaviour and created an exponential demand on mobile data networks.

O2 says its multi-year programme of investment in its mobile network, totaling hundreds of millions of pounds, will give it significant headroom for the future and let it retain its focus on being number one for customer satisfaction.

You can find out whether O2 is achieving its goals of being number one for satisfaction according to Which? members in the Which? review of the best mobile provider.

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