Better 2G, 3G & 4G Signal Coverage

'Project Beacon' a joint venture between O2 and Vodafone

Vodafone and O2, starting in 2012, began to work on a joint venture called 'Project Beacon' to improve mobile coverage around the UK, with a view to looking forward to enhancing network coverage for 4G. This project is designed to improve the physical infrastructure for both networks. The idea was that if there is an area where O2 receive a better signal than Vodafone, they are able to attach Vodafone equipment on to the O2 mast and vice versa where Vodafone may put out a better signal.

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In order to equip the new grid and get it running as fast as possible, maintenance work was shared equally between O2 and Vodafone and they also set up an independent company to manage the mast sites for anything not related to signal. Vodafone maintain the grid for the West of the England and Wales while O2 oversee the East and Northern Ireland. Both companies have signed strict service guarantees to ensure any problems are dealt with speedily with minimal disruption to customers.

The companies are also removing duplicate masts at locations and building some new ones to enhance the coverage. In total there will be about 18,500 masts by the time the project is complete in 2015. Pooling their resources means both networks will have a 40% increase in the number of sites they had in 2012 at the start of the project allowing for an offering of coverage for 2G, 3G and 4G to 98% of the UK population. Plans are in place to reach the other 2 % which live in the hardest to reach areas.

Both O2 and Vodafone invested a lot of money in their 4G services as the frequency has better penetration of walls and objects than 3G and allows between 20mb and 50mb download speeds as an average. In moving forward with Project Beacon both companies have ensured they are offering the best coverage for their domestic and business customers.

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