O2 says it’s the first UK network to take advantage of Ofcom’s new rules about redeploying old GSM frequencies. It’s now reusing its 900MHz spectrum in London for 3G services, which is apparently delivering a 50% increase in capacity to the existing 2100MHz 3G network. O2 has also deployed so-called 3G900 services in Leeds, Birmingham and Manchester.
The company’s research shows that O2 customers on 3G/900MHz compatible devices are now receiving data on average 30% faster than before the new spectrum was allocated for 3G use.
Nigel Purdy, Chief Technology Officer for Telefónica O2 UK, said “This 3G900 switch-on is the latest in a series of network enhancements for O2, and is a first for the UK and Telefonica. We’ve acted quickly to bring the benefits of 3G over 900MHz spectrum to our customers and we’re thrilled with the results. Quite simply, on O2’s network, more customers can use more data, and experience it quicker.”
Until January, the 900MHz frequency band was only licensed for 2G services in the UK.