O2 issues call to UK businesses to test 5G

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O2 UK is inviting every major company on the stock market to participate in 5G trials on its new testbed.

The research area is set to open this autumn at the O2 entertainment complex in Greenwich, south east London.

The testbed will be used to trial a range of different 5G hardware and use cases under live conditions.

O2 announced this morning that it has written to every CEO on the FTSE 100 stock market index to invite them to take part in trials.

A spokesperson said: "5G, when it becomes available, has the potential to transform every corner of life and society. By encouraging businesses to implement 5G technology early, productivity and efficiency savings can be made that will have a national impact."

The invitation comes several months after the UK's latest spectrum auction, when O2 spent £523.6 million to buy 40MHz of 2.3GHz and 40MHz of 3.4GHz.

It activated 60 sites to use 2.3GHz with four hours of receiving its licence and plans to expand this to more than 1,000 sites by the end of 2018.

O2 also boosted its London coverage in April after signing a deal with infrastructure partner Arqiva to deploy 300 small cells across the city.

The 5G ready infrastructure will be used to bring next generation connectivity once it is available.

Deutsche Telekom announced yesterday (25 July) that it was setting up a connected car testbed at a road safety track in Germany.

Orange opened up its third testbed in France earlier this month to also explore how 5G could be used within connected cars.