O2’s 5G service reaches 60 towns and cities in the UK

Mobile network operator O2 has managed to launch its 5G service in 60 towns and cities across the UK.

The company said it beat its original target of switching on the next generation of mobile data in 50 locations by the summer.

Aberdeen, Brighton and Oxford were among the most recent additions to the roster, since O2 introduced the technology to customers in October 2019.

The milestone comes at a tense time for network providers, after a number of 5G mast attacks in response to conspiracy theories linking coronavirus to the new technology, which scientists and Government have dismissed as false.

5G mast
5G masts have been attacked in response to conspiracy theories linking coronavirus to the new technology (Steve Parsons/PA)

“As the UK faces an uncertain year ahead, it’s vital we continue to invest in new innovations and technologies to keep Britain mobile and connected,” said Brendan O’Reilly, O2’s chief technology officer.

The firm has also reached 10,000 sites with its LTE-M network, designed to help drive Internet of Things (IoT) devices, which will cover 57% of premises and 58% of the population.

EE – the first company in the UK to launch 5G – recently announced it has activated its own 5G technology in 80 cities and towns, as it marked a year since launching the service.

There is no official speed standard for 5G, but many experts expect it to be up to 10 times faster than 4G – and therefore potentially faster than some home fibre broadband.

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