We’re investing in the future. Get ready for a 4G and 5G world with O2

We’ve expanded our 5G network and increased the strength of our 4G network. Find out how we’re investing in our mobile technology

More than 4,000 UK towns, cities and villages now enjoy 5G connectivity and, in 2023, almost a quarter of all UK postcodes have had their local network boosted with extra 4G. We know how important it is to keep expanding our O2 network to meet the constant rise in demand for data as we prepare for the 3G switch off in 2025. That’s why we’re investing over £1 million a day in our networks, boosting signal in the busiest and the most remote parts of the country.

Not only that, we’re also proud to say that our award-winning 4G mobile network currently covers over 99% of the UK population, no matter where you live or work. But with technology advancing at breakneck speed, it can be hard to find time to pause and ask questions about how it can affect our day-to-day lives. In this article, we explain everything you need to know about 4G and 5G as well as some of the benefits you might not have known about.

Using your phone when hiking and exploring

So, what’s the deal with 4G?

Launched in the UK around 10 years ago, 4G is now widespread across the country. In fact, last year we brought 4G connectivity to some of the most remote areas of the country for the first time, boosting a total of 465,000 separate postcodes with extra coverage. Pretty impressive stuff.

Designed to provide fast, stable and reliable internet connectivity by transmitting data using mainly radio waves, 4G should give you good functionality online, whether you’re browsing the web, downloading files, video conferencing or mobile banking. Since we’re focused on investing in our 4G and 5G networks to deliver faster and more energy-efficient connectivity, there’s never been a better time to upgrade your device or contract. From faster download speeds and stable connections to higher quality voice calls, read all about the benefits of 4G.

There’s more. Most of our 4G and 5G devices support WiFi and 4G Calling at no extra cost. WiFi Calling lets you make and receive calls as normal when you’re connected to WiFi – even when there’s no coverage – while 4G Calling connects you over 4G, meaning clearer calls. When switched on, these services work together to provide an uninterrupted experience as you move from one to the other. You can even check your socials or send an email while you’re on your call.

Setting up WiFi and 4G Calling from your phone is easy. Head to our WiFi and 4G Calling page to check if your device is compatible and watch our simple step-by-step tutorial guides.

Group of friends

Our 5G network is also evolving

While both 4G and 5G provide wireless connectivity, 5G is our fastest, reliable and most energy-efficient network yet and has even more benefits for you to enjoy. It cuts down on lag or latency (the round-trip time it takes for a signal to be sent and received), giving you near-instant access to the things you love. This makes it particularly good for real-time applications such as gaming, remote healthcare and immersive virtual reality experiences where speedy responses make all the difference.

Our 5G network now covers over 50% of the population, keeping you connected across thousands of UK towns and cities as well as smaller villages. Want to know if you’re in one of them? Check if we’re in your area with our online coverage checker.

We’re also dedicated to using innovative connectivity solutions for good. In our pioneering project with Warwickshire Search and Rescue, we’ve been developing a 5G connected drone that helps search and rescue teams establish reliable communication to save lives.

With 5G you can also stay connected abroad in our Europe Zone, where you can use up to 25GB of your allowance wherever it’s available at no extra cost. That means you can translate, navigate and stay out late to your heart’s content with your data.

Why not browse our affordable Pay Monthly plans that all come with 5G at no extra cost. There’s no need to swap your SIM either – if your device is 5G-ready, then you’re all set.

Published: 8 April 2024

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