The O2 5G networks will go live in October.It intends to launch the next-generation service in UK and then expand to a total of 50 towns and cities by summer 2020.
O2 partnering with Vodafone to roll out 5G on both networks as quick as possible. The first cities the O2 5G network will cover are London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast all the UK’s capitals and also Leeds and Slough.
O2 has said that it will initially focus on providing 5G to sites where capacity is stretched. Consumers can expect faster download speeds and greater reliability if they purchase a compatible handset.
Mr Evans said O2 also hopes companies will be early adopters, and had already struck a deal with Northumbrian Water.
“We’re working with them on 5G smart sensors so that they can use that to detect leakage and water quality, and manage their network better,” he said.
O2’s 5G news coincided with the release of its first-half results. They revealed a 5.1% annual rise in sales, totalling £2.98bn ($3.8bn). Its number of customers including those signed to Giffgaff, Tesco Mobile, Sky Mobile and Lycamobile, which piggyback O2’s network rose by 3.6% to 33.3 million accounts.
“So, these are just the very first steps in a 5G marathon.”