Virgin Media O2 commits £10bn investment in UK as London boasts largest 5G footprint

Vodafone turns off 3G masts

Virgin Media O2 has revealed that its 5G network has now hit two thirds of the capital, giving London the largest 5G footprint within the group.

The telecoms giant has committed to investing at least £10bn in the UK, and has delivered 5G to more than 2,000 sites across the country last year. It has also promised to reach 50 per cent of the UK’s population with its services in 2023.

The company completed its wider gigabit rollout in December, meaning that over 15.5 million homes across the UK can now access broadband with average download speeds of 1,130Mbps.

The importance of improved connectivity was highlighted in recent research from economic modelling experts Oxford Analytica, which found that investment in full fibre and mobile connectivity could unlock 68,384 jobs in the capital and boost London’s economy by more than £16bn by 2026.

The findings, published in the Digital Connectivity Index, also showed how digital infrastructure investment could help tackle inequality.

In other good news for Londoners, Virgin Media O2 has upgraded 4G capacity in 41,228 postcodes across the city in 2021, and more than 241,000 nationally.

Virgin Media O2 has also continued to expand its Wi-Fi network across the Tube, offering connectivity at more than 260 stations representing 97 per cent of the London Underground network.

This follows significant investment in fixed broadband network expansion and upgrades across London over the past six years.

The company has extended its footprint to reach 340,000 more premises in the capital through its Project Lightning programme, and made gigabit broadband available to more than six million Londoners – delivering speeds 16 times faster than the capital’s average.

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