All you need to know about our network expansion plans

Discover what we did in 2023 – including bringing 5G to more than 3,000 areas – to ensure our customers are better connected.

There is an ever-growing demand for data and this year we’ve seen some huge peaks in our mobile traffic. One of our highest ever surges occurred during the Women’s World Cup England vs Spain match, with the network carrying 13% more traffic than a normal Sunday. That’s why expanding our network to meet that demand has never been so important, and why we’re investing more than £1 million a day into both our 5G and 4G networks.

In 2023, we hit some big milestones in this project. Read on to find out how we invested in our mobile network this year and about our ambition to make your service the best it can be in 2024.

country road

We expanded our 5G network even further in 2023

This year, we continued to focus on the expansion of our 5G network and increased the strength of our 4G network, spending more than £1 million on this work every day. So far, we’ve bought 5G to more than 3,000 UK towns, cities and villages. From Mablethorpe in Lincolnshire to Thetford in Norfolk, up and down the country new places are experiencing and benefitting from 5G speeds for the first time. To see whether 5G has arrived in your area, visit our coverage checker.

Our 4G network reached new heights (literally)

In the last 12 months, almost one-third of all UK postcodes have seen their local network boosted with extra 4G. As well as improving our network speeds, we also added coverage to areas of the UK where there hadn't been any before. Want to know just how far we went? We brought 4G connectivity to some of the most remote areas of the country for the first time ever, such as Tarbert in Argyll and Bute, and the Isle of Mull.

people holding phones

We boosted your events

If you’ve ever been separated from your friends at a busy event, you’ll know it’s crucial to have smooth, seamless mobile service so you can send those "where are you?" texts. We provided temporary network boosts to around 70 different UK events in the last year, including Glastonbury and Winter Wonderland. While we can’t guarantee the directions your friends give you to find them will be remotely helpful (“I’m near the stage!”), we have at least helped you get through to them in the first place (“I can see a cow…”).

person holding a phone

We have big plans for the rest of 2023 and beyond

But we’re not stopping there. We will continue to invest further funding into our mobile network across the UK to continue to meet our customers’ ever-growing demands for data. By the end of this year, we will have brought 5G to over half of the UK population. And in 2024, we have a lot more planned to help keep our customers connected, so watch this space.

Published: 14 November 2023

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Terms and conditions
Newcastle: One of the UK's friendliest cities* just got friendlier with a network boost. Over 2,700 postcodes upgraded in Newcastle**.
*Big7 article 2019
**Additional 4G & 5G capacity added to 2,701 postcodes in Newcastle from September 2022 to August 2023
Warrington: The best town to live in the UK* now has a boosted network to match. Over 1,300 postcodes upgraded in Warrington**.
*Cheshire Live article 2021
**Additional 4G & 5G capacity added to 1,365 postcodes in Warrington from October 2022 to September 2023
Birmingham: Birthplace of the Balti just got a sizzling network boost. Over 10,500 postcodes upgraded in Birmingham*.
*Additional 4G & 5G capacity added to 10,527 postcodes in Birmingham from October 2022 to September 2023
Hull: Two great rugby teams, and a network boost to match. Win-win. Over 3,700 postcodes upgraded in Hull*. 
*Additional 4G & 5G capacity added to 3,742 postcodes in Hull from October 2022 to September 2023