O2 pushes further to connect remote parts of the UK

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UK operator O2 is pushing further into connecting rural parts of the country, vowing to bring 330 communities online by the end of this year.

The project will improve connectivity for 250,000 residents. O2 said the move will boost businesses, especially tourism in the affected areas.

Derek McManus, COO at Telefonica UK, commented: “We know mobile has the power to make a real, positive difference to people’s lives and businesses in rural communities across Britain. That’s why we’re proud to be investing in 4G connectivity for more than 330 rural areas by the end of this year.

“Technology never stands still, which is why we are always looking for the right partners and investing in our future network. Whether trialling 5G to support a future-proof, mobile Britain, or ensuring the remotest parts of rural Britain can connect to 4G, for O2, this is about continuing to invest in all areas – not one at the cost of the other.”

Last year, O2 switched on an LTE mast in the hamlet of Staylittle in west Wales, which brought mobile connectivity to the area for the first time.

The operator said it spends more than £2 million per day on running and improving its network. It has 98 percent indoor LTE coverage and 90 percent geographical coverage across the UK.

In September, rival EE started refarming its 2.1GHz band to help bring additional LTE capacity to cities across the UK.

The operator is targeting 95 percent geographical LTE coverage by 2020, up from 90 percent today.