In advance of its much-anticipated 4G (fourth generation) network rollout later this year, O2 today announced it is upgrading and enhancing its 3G network in 250 locations across 14 counties in Ireland this month.
It is a development which Telefónica Ireland’s CEO Tony Hanway had flagged at Silicon Republic’s Digital Ireland Forum in April and, according to O2, the upgrade will result in much faster mobile data speeds for O2 customers in Carlow, Cork, Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Kildare, Kilkenny, Limerick, Longford, Louth, Mayo, Meath, Sligo and Wicklow. Further 3G sites are due to be upgraded in other locations around the country by the end of 2013.
The move was facilitated by the public auction of spectrum by Ireland’s telecoms regulator, ComReg, in November 2012, when O2’s parent company, Telefónica, invested €225m to secure the maximum allocation of the most valuable high-speed spectrum. O2 says it plans to spend a further €200m in upgrading its network in the next three years.
“In simple terms, (customers) will now see a stronger 3G signal on their mobile devices in more places, indoor and on the move. Our customers will enjoy significantly improved data speeds in more places from this month, bringing a richer data experience to life on their 3G mobile devices,” said Paul Whelan, director, finance and technology, Telefónica Ireland.
As for 4G services, O2 says work is under way that will see 4G sites go live in key locations throughout Ireland from later this autumn.
Watch our interview with Telefónica Ireland’s Tony Hanway on 3G and 4G developments.