11/19/2008 11:41:00 AM
O2 network higher HSDPA coverage than many rivals
O2’s network now has a higher level of HSDPA coverage than many of its rivals, says Dunne.
He claimed that 80% of the coverage is now HSDPA, which is five times the speed of conventional 3G and is being adopted by all the major network operators.
O2 was publicly censured by Ofcom after it fell short of its mandatory 80% 3G coverage target in February, which was part of the £4bn 3G auction.
Dunne said this week: ‘We were correctly criticised by Ofcom for being late with 3G coverage, despite being just a few weeks away. I would never allow our business to build a network that didn’t give quality of coverage that our customers deserve.
‘All of our 3G network is now HSDPA-enabled. Orange aspires to be at 69% by 2009. Some others are giving inconsistency of coverage across the country.’
3 and T-Mobile are pressing ahead with a deep network share venture with both networks pooling their resources to build a nationwide HSDPA network estimated to save £2bn in costs.
Dunne said: ‘My understanding is that, for the next 12 to 18 months, their customers will experience a deterioration in service because they are in a transition phase. They have the same ambition we do, but they have a logistical challenge in stitching together two networks.’