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October 17, 2019

O2, After Everyone Else, Flips the On Switch of Its 5G Network

“To meet expectations for speed, there will need to be a change in how data is processed."

By CBR Staff Writer

Mobile network operator O2 has switched on its 5G network today, bringing O2 5G services to five UK cities.

Today’s 5G switch flip by O2 marks the last major mobile operator in the UK to do so as O2’s competitors Vodafone and EE have already switch on their 5G networks. BT turned on its services last week using EE’s (which it owns) infrastructure.

O2 customers with 5G support devices will be able to use the service in the UK cities; Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, London and Leeds. The town where O2 is headquartered, Slough, will become the first town in the UK to offer 5G services.

However, these locations will not have full coverage as O2 will first focus on locations that see the most footfall, such as shopping centres and football stadiums.

Mark Evans, CEO, Telefónica UK commented in a release that: “We’re launching with a range of tariffs that make it easy and fair for customers to access 5G, with flexible plans that cost no more than 4G. We’re also switching on 5G in important parts of towns and cities first, places where it will benefit customers and businesses most.”

O2 5G Network

5G technology is the next generation of mobile connectivity with expected speeds that are 5-10 times faster than the currently used 4G networks and will enable ultra low-latency connections.

Current mobile works using 4G are on a congested frequency range, which has led to a loss of efficiency in carrying data across the used spectrum. 5G technologies makes use of extremely high frequency waves which range from 30 to 300 GHz.

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Once 5G is fully in place customers should expect to see a change in the way media and content is delivered to them as high speed low-latency connections opens up the doors for innovative technology uses, as we are starting to see in the videogame industry.

Jasmit Sagoo, senior director, head of technology UK&I, at Veritas told Computer Business Review via an emailed statement that. “To meet expectations for speed, there will need to be a change in how data is processed. Currently, data travels from cells back to the core network, which takes time. 5G stops us from depending on this single nervous system. Instead of wireless coverage being reliant on a sole anterior that could bring the whole network down, it is built-up on hundreds of micro-cells that enable data, transactions and entire applications to run on the edge. As a result, we will need to build thousands of micro-data centres to process all the data needed for these edge services.”

“In time, the edge will grow faster than the current centralised networks that we depend on, and we will see these dispersed data centres become central hubs and regular data exchange points we rely on for our online services. As they grow in importance, operators will need to implement strong continuity measures and a data protection strategy to ensure availability and security.”

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