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5G test bed to be launched at The O2

O2 has unveiled plans to launch a 5G test bed at The O2 arena in London later this year, bringing a 5G experience to one of the world’s most popular entertainment venues.

The announcement builds on O2 and AEG’s ongoing commitment to enhance the fan experience at The O2 before, during and after each event, as they strive to set the industry benchmark for live entertainment.

Installation of the network will begin in March, with visitors able to enjoy the technology from the second half of 2018.

The move will see O2 leading the way in putting the next generation network technology into the hands of the British public.

The network will initially roll-out across select locations at The O2, including the exclusive O2 blueroom and the O2 store at the venue, with plans to extend coverage across the venue by the end of 2020.

It will initially allow O2 customers to experience ground-breaking technology via a variety of customer demonstrations. Demonstrations being assessed for showcasing include virtual reality, augmented reality and live streaming.

The test bed will be delivered using ‘Multi-access Edge Computing’ (MEC) and is configured for virtualisation of core 5G network technologies. In time, O2 will use the network to test a variety of equipment and potential use cases for 5G under live conditions, gathering feedback from customers and partners to ensure a high quality service for customers in the future.

This latest customer initiative from O2 has been designed to ensure the business is 5G ready and primed to launch a leading next generation network for customers when spectrum and equipment availability allow.

The installation at The O2 will be the first in a number of trials in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland that will look at uses for 5G for consumers, businesses and the public sector. It follows a similar approach taken by the business when it was the first to launch a live 4G trial in London back in 2011.

The new 5G network follows the recent ten-year renewal of the partnership and continued joint strategic investment in the connectivity across the venue, resulting in high definition wi-fi and dynamic digital advertising solutions. These initiatives have created a truly immersive experience for fans.

John Langford, general manager of The O2 commented:

We are delighted that our partner O2 has chosen our venue for the first test of this exciting new mobile technology.  It is a clear demonstration of their deep commitment to improving the customer and fan experience at The O2 through innovative technology.  We’re excited to see 5G in action and know it will deliver clear benefits for O2 customers who visit.