Virgin Media O2 5G now covers two-thirds of London

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Virgin Media O2 says its 5G network now covers two thirds of London’s population thanks to the rollout of new low-band spectrum it won at auction last year.

The company started deploying the 700MHz airwaves towards the end of 2021 and has now expanded coverage to 64% of the capital.

The 700MHz band, which was freed up by Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) offers greater range and indoor penetration characteristics than mid-band and high-band frequencies that offer more capacity over short distances.

Virgin Media O2 London 

The operator rolled out 5G to 5,000 sites last year and its network is now available in more than 300 towns and cities according to its definition of a 5G location. 

Separately, the firm has improved the capacity of its 4G service in 41,000 London postcodes and 241,000 nationally, while the capital has also benefited from Virgin Media O2’s fixed line upgrades.

The firm has added 340,000 premises to its network over the past few years through its ‘Project Lighting’ expansion, bringing its total footprint to six million. Every property connected has access to speeds of at least 1Gbps.

The company’s fixed and mobile rollouts started long before it merged, and it now hopes to leverage the two to create converged products.

“Providing a 5G boost is part of our long-standing investment in the capital and our mission to upgrade the UK through our ongoing investment in 4G, 5G, fixed broadband and innovative new services,” said Jeanie York, Chief Technology Officer at Virgin Media O2. 

“We are taking a customer-centric approach to our mobile network strategy, which centres on optimising our network where our customers need them most.

“This means focusing on densifying our coverage where are customers are going to feel the most benefit, such as busy urban cities like London, while also investing to extend coverage in less populated areas. And with our Volt proposition, we can offer 5G plus gigabit broadband together, giving Londoners the best connectivity in and out of their homes.”

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.