O2 to Roll Out 3G Network Upgrade

Upgrade to improve coverage ahead of autumn 4G rollout
By David McLaughlin, Green Cloud Computers
June 6, 2013 Updated: June 6, 2013

According to its parent company Telefonica, O2 will upgrade its 3G network in 250 locations across 14 counties before the end of May, ensuring faster data transfer speeds.

O2 claim that the upgrade will result in significantly improved coverage and faster mobile data speeds across Carlow, Cork, Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Kildare, Kilkenny, Limerick, Longford, Louth, Mayo, Meath, Sligo and Wicklow (14 counties in all). The group said that a similar number of other sites are to be upgraded around Ireland by the end of the year.

According to Paul Whelan, Director of Finance and Technology at Telefonica Ireland, “…customers…will now see a stronger 3G signal on their mobile device in more places, indoor and on the move.” Whelan said the upgrade would bring a richer “data experience” to users, whether they be surfing websites, streaming videos, or uploading or downloading content. 

Telefonica also has plans to invest 200 million euro in upgrading its network in Ireland to a fourth generation (4G) level over the next three years. This comes on top of the 225 million already spent on securing extra spectrum in an open auction procedure managed by Comreg, the Commission for Communications Regulation. 

The 4G network rollout will begin later this year, with the first sites going live at strategic locations starting in autumn 2013. In an interview with the siliconrepublic.com website, Telefonica Ireland’s Tony Hanway said that 4G would “bridge the digital divide and help coverage in rural areas, especially areas where, in reality, fixed broadband is just not going to penetrate.” Hanway also said that the 4G network would improve data transfer speeds by up to a factor of five. 

In real terms, the 2-year rollout of 4G will enable the development of richer, band-hungry services that will make the user experience more stable—and rewarding. It should make it possible for employees to work more efficiently from home or on the go, while also providing the platform for the development of a plethora of cloud-based technologies as security and cloud adoption issues are resolved. This will also help Ireland inc. catch up with its European neighbours in the area of online business. 

Many of the (3G) smartphones and tablets currently in circulation are not capable of maxing out the potential of the 4G system, so it is likely that users will gradually (have to!) upgrade their hard- and software in the coming years to take advantage of the speed of the new network.

Green Cloud Computers in an Irish technology firm based in Meath. Visit us at greencloudcomputers.com