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Back to Basics: Capacity

Community Manager
Community Manager
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Hi everyone, 


Capacity is the amount of bandwidth each cell site has for you, our customers, to make calls, send texts and download data.


O2 - Network Capacity Infographic (600px)-3-3.png


How are we innovating technology to boost capacity?



In basic terms, the re-farming of spectrum is just the reallocation of frequency bands to different communication services depending on customer need. For example, as the demand for 2G services diminish, the frequencies currently used to provide Voice and Messaging services are becoming re-farmed to provide 3G and 4G services.  


We were the first operator to reuse our 2G spectrum on the 3G network and are now extensively re-farming from our 2G and 3G networks to enhance our 4G capacity where we see most of our data traffic.

Our Self-Organising Network also allows us to move customers between 3G and 4G autonomously, depending on their needs, to improve their network experience.


Massive MiMO

We’ve focused on adding capacity in busy urban areas, by rolling out our new 4G spectrum to area’s that need it most, or utilising capacity boosting technology such as Massive MIMO in London, which has antennas which can transmit and receive much more data than standard antennas, increasing capacity by up to 200%.


Small cells

Micro cells and small cells are shoe-box sized cells which we can deploy fairly simply and easily in busy city centres, where there is a high demand for voice and data. They provide extra capacity on the network at faster speeds, enabling our customers to have a better network experience where space is at a premium.

We currently have 919 Small Cells live in London with a further 219 sites forecast to become operational during 2020. These additional small cells have led to an uplift in capacity, as well as laying the foundations for 5G Networks.


We’re equipping existing structures such as The British Waterway Cranes in Canary Wharf, London underground signs and even BT phone boxes with Small Cell technology. We’ve also boosted performance in Canary Wharf, by delivering voice and data technologies via street level nodes.

Indoor solutions

We’re investing heavily in transportation hubs and installing bespoke indoor solutions into airports and train stations around the country, providing extra coverage and capacity.

In 2019, we installed or upgraded in-building systems at Heathrow and Gatwick, Bristol and Newcastle Airports for example. In addition we now have dedicated 4G systems at Kings Cross and Victoria, and we are also starting to rollout 5G in-building systems at transport hubs and venues across the UK.


Remember, all of the images we share on this board can be shared with the wider customer community, so feel free to use these as an aid to your network conversations. 

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Level 94: Supreme
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Could do with some more capacity in customer service.....


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