O2 adds extra £100m to network spend

O2 adds extra £100m to network spend

O2 has added £100m in additional network spend over the next year, after admitting pressures in areas with a ‘high concentration of smartphones’.

The operator is in the process of implementing a Network Performance Improvement Plan, which includes £30m additional spending for Q4 this year, rising to £100m in 2010. It has also brought forward 40 new site builds, to be delivered in London between now and Christmas.

A team of O2 technology senior managers and a board level steering committee have been put in place to drive the plans and the operator has chosen vendors and suppliers.

O2 attributed the pressures on its network to a growth in data use, particularly in areas with a high concentration of smartphone users. It said: ‘We have a small number of “hotspots” where customers may have lower levels of service than they expect.

‘Typical symptoms include calls going straight to voicemail, dropped calls or difficulty in establishing a data connection.’

Activity detailed in the plan includes: upgrading cell sites and accelerating investment in areas of high data usage; building additional sites (a total of 200 extra in London by Christmas 2010 and 40 before the end of November 2009); growing its fixed network; and growing its access data network.

O2 chief technology officer, Derek McManus, said: ‘World class smartphones have brought about an unprecedented demand on mobile data networks. Data on our network has increased 20-fold in the last year alone. As a result, we have recently experienced some isolated pressures in London where there is the highest concentration of smartphone users.

‘In the last two years we have invested £500m in our network. We are now aggressively accelerating our network growth programme, increasing our spend by hundreds of millions over the next few years to ensure we build significant headroom for the future.’ 

Written by Mobile Today
Mobile Today


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