O2 extends 4G across Northern Ireland

O2 extends 4G across Northern Ireland

Mobile network provider O2 has announced that it has extended the rollout of its 4G service to Northern Ireland, with superfast LTE now available in the capital, Belfast, and the town of Lisburn.

The move is the latest part of a £15 million investment by the operator in the country's infrastructure, which has seen the modernisation of its 2G and 3G networks, as well as its LTE capabilities.

O2's arrival in Northern Ireland comes as shake-up to the local market, which until now has been dominated by EE.

Local leaders across the country have already claimed that O2 could help provide a healthy level of competition that would bring a whole host of benefits to local businesses.

Arlene Foster from the Northern Ireland Department of Enterprise, Trade & Investment said: “The arrival of O2 4G marks another significant step forward for Belfast and Lisburn as the network promises to deliver many positive benefits to both businesses and smartphone users,”

O2's service currently covers around a third of the UK population and the company claims to have attracted as many as one million LTE customers since launching last August.

Derek McManus, Chief Operating Officer of Telefonica UK, said he was "delighted" about the arrival of the firm's 4G services to Northern Ireland and that the continued level of investment would help to improve the experience of all O2 customers.

The firm has also said it plans to spend another £5 million on technology that will bring mobile broadband to other parts of the country, including Derry, by the end of the year.

Although many 4G customers come from the general public, there has also been great interest among a number of businesses, with mobile working becoming increasingly important to many firms.

Many organisations in Northern Ireland are already benefiting from widespread coverage, due to around 90 per cent of the region's phone lines offering high fibre optic broadband.