Virgin Media O2 boosts UK 4G, 5G coverage to address staycation | Mobile | News | Rapid TV News
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Newly merged communications provider Virgin Media O2 has announced what it says is a significant boost to its UK 4G and 5G mobile coverage to holiday hotspots in order to address what it believes with be significant extra demand on the nation’s networks.
Virgin Staycations 9 July 2021
Despite the fact that the UK government is in the process of loosening foreign travel restrictions due to the Covid crisis, the operator says that Summer 2021 is expected to see a record amount of staycations thus leading to a commensurate massed demand for its communications services.

To back its case, it released details of research taken in April 2021 showing nearly two thirds (57%) of Brits are planning to holiday in a remote area of the UK for a staycation this year. The study also revealed that with the Government allowing individual businesses to decide on their work from home policies, it is likely that they will have to accommodate a range of employee preferences. Alost a fifth of workers (19%) workers said they were considering a ‘nomadic working’ break this summer where they will work remotely at a location out of their home this summer.

UK holidaymakers were already driving mobile data demand as lockdown eased. In terms of total data traffic measured, for the week ending 8 May 2021 the O2 network carried approximately 55% more peak hour data than it did in the week ending 9 May 2020. The network also carried the most amount of data traffic ever to support the all-English Champions League Final in May.

“After a year like no other, we know how important it has been to stay connected,” commented Virgin Media O2 CTO Jeanie York. “That’s why we’re committed to providing our customers with reliable connectivity all across the UK - as shown by our £448 million investment on newly released spectrum - to increase capacity in our network and power the technology of the future, as well as spearheading the Shared Rural Network.”

In advance of the summer holiday season Virgin Media O2 has now upgraded almost 600 cell sites in coastal and tourist hotspots like Edinburgh Castle, the V&A Museum, Bognor Regis, Bath, Falmouth, Plymouth, Cambridge, Stirling and Bournemouth Pier to support increased connectivity demands from holidaymakers. It is also strengthening its 5G coverage in towns and cities while introducing the next generation network to tourist hotspots such as: Edinburgh Castle, Bournemouth Pier, Tynemouth King Edwards Bay and Llandudno West Shore. Also gaining new outdoor 5G connectivity are a range of museums and galleries, including the V&A Museum, National Portrait Gallery, Natural History Museum, the Mary Rose Museum, York Castle Museum and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

“Whether you’re a holidaymaker heading off for a sunny staycation, a rural business or someone living and working in a remote area, we’re doubling down on 4G to ensure network capacity is deployed where it’s needed most,” York added. “The numbers speak for themselves, with over 31,300 postcodes receiving a 4G network upgrade this year, hundreds of tourist hotspots boosted and a real focus to improve our 5G experience where people need it most.”