O2 launches 5G network in the UK | Mobile | News | Rapid TV News
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Telefónica subsidiary O2 has become the latest operator in the UK to offer a 5G network.
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The 5G network is launching in six locations across the UK: Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, London, Slough and Leeds. The network will initially switch on in places where the operator says that it is needed most such as including busy footfall areas around London Waterloo, London Kings Cross railway stations; Haymarket in Edinburgh; Trinity Shopping Centre in Leeds; and Belfast South city centre. It has also been rolled out London’s Twickenham rugby ground and Emirates football stadium. The network will be live in a total of 20 towns and cities by the end of 2019, and 50 by summer 2020.

O2 currently offers four 5G-enabled devices: Samsung Galaxy S10 5G; Samsung Galaxy Note10+ 5G; Samsung Galaxy A90 (5G); and the Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 5G. Customers who purchase the new Apple iPhone 11, Apple iPhone 11 Pro or the Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max smartphone on a 90GB, 120GB or Unlimited tariff can claim a £100 discount off the device cost when they upgrade to the new apple smartphone device in 2020.

The O2 5G custom plan is designed to give customers control and freedom on the contract term, data allowance and upfront cost for their 5G ready handsets. Customers can choose how much they want to pay upfront and how to spread the remaining cost between 3 and 36 months, as well as having the option to flex their 5G data allowance up or down every month to suit their needs. O2 also plans an unlimited data option, at the same price as 4G equivalents.

“I believe 5G is going to revolutionise the way people and businesses use mobile connectivity, unlocking huge possibilities for our economy and society,” Mark Evans, CEO of O2 parent Telefónica UK, commenting on the launch. “No one in the country has all the answers today, but I’m excited about getting it into the hands of our customers and working with leading partners to help shape the future of 5G for the next generation.”

The operator has also brokered what it says are ‘meaningful’ 5G business partnerships including what is said to be the first-ever 5G-powered live TV advert with ITN Productions. The live advert will be on ITV during the England World Cup rugby game on Saturday 5 October, made from real time fan reactions captured at special screenings of the game in four O2 venues across the UK. Footage of the matchday atmosphere will be captured across the UK at O2 venues and sent back to ITN studios in London via O2’s next generation 5G network. From there, it will be broadcast as a live advert on ITV, showcasing the real time support of fans up and down the country.

“The power of 5G cannot be overstated,” added Richard Lawson, commercial and operations director at ITN Productions. “With our long-standing experience in live broadcast and live advertising, it’s a pleasure to be bringing this power to life in partnership with O2 and ITV. This feels like just the start of where 5G could take us.”