Sunday, November 13, 2011

O2 Launches LTE Trial in London

O2 activated an LTE trial network in central London. About 25 sites are being switched on this month covering a combined area of 40 square kilometres, stretching from Hyde Park to The O2 in Greenwich. The trial will run for the next nine months, ahead of next summer's Olympic Games. An auction of 4G spectrum in the UK is expected in the meantime.

The O2 4G trial will use the 2.6GHz spectrum band under a Test and Development licence granted to O2 by OFCOM, and is an extension of O2's earlier 4G trials in Slough that have been running since 2009. The 2.6GHz band supports the maximum 20MHz RF bandwidth for LTE, which allows 4G speeds of up to 150Mbps.

Telefónica UK's 4G trial network has been deployed using equipment supplied by Nokia Siemens Networks for both the Radio and Core network elements. Backhaul for the 4G trial network has been provided using Microwave Radio Equipment from Cambridge Broadband Networks Limited, NEC and Nokia Siemens Networks.

"Today's launch of the UK's first 4G London trial network demonstrates our commitment to delivering 4G to our customers at the earliest opportunity. The work we are doing now will lay the foundations for our commercial 4G network when it launches in the UK," stated Ronan Dunne, Chief Executive Officer of Telefónica UK (O2).

O2 plans to equip hundreds of consumers, businesses and venue owners with LTE devices to test the network.

  • O2 is a division of Telefónica.

  • O2 employs around 11,000 people in the UK and has 450 retail stores.

  • O2’s UK 3G (HSPA+ 900 / 2100 MHz) network currently provides voice and high speed data services of up to 14.4Mbps (21Mbps in the coming months) to over 84% of the UK population.

  • In January 2011, Telefónica O2 UK has awarded a three-year contract to Nokia Siemens Networks to modernize its radio network, expanding capacity, coverage and performance. The upgrade with use NSN's Flexi Multiradio Base Station and Radio Network Controller. The deal means Nokia Siemens Networks will provide approximately two-thirds of O2's 3G access network in the UK, covering the south of England. Nokia Siemens Networks is currently the sole vendor for O2's nationwide GSM network.

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