Superfast 900MHz 3G explained

Cell-tower 3G data is more popular than ever, with webpages, emails and downloads whizzing to your mobile at the push of a button. But increasing popularity means mobile networks have to keep up. 

O2 is more than prepared for the data onslaught, thanks to newly-enabled 900MHz 3G. Working stealthily behind the scenes to bring you a reliable and speedy 3G connection, read on and we’ll spill the beans on 900MHz 3G.

Here comes the science bit

3G data is sent to and fro all over the country on a band of the EM spectrum. Spectrum in the UK is carefully allocated, so that there’s no interference and you get reliable service. For years, 3G communications have used frequencies around 2.1GHz but earlier this year, O2 became the first network in the UK to switch on complementary 3G at a much lower 900MHz frequency too.

Using this part of the spectrum comes with several advantages: lower frequency means longer wavelengths, letting 3G signals reach further from mobile cells to extend 3G coverage.

The idea is that you’ll get piping fast internet and crystal clear calls in places 3G struggled to reach using the old spectrum..

Souped up surfing speeds

The best bit about this 3G upgrade is that we’re already seeing the benefits. Customer experience testing found that with two bands serving up 3G data, download speeds on smartphones and tablets have increased by a hefty 30 percent.

In areas where 900MHz 3G has been turned on, network capacity has also increased by 50%, so the O2 network can serve up super-fast speeds at busier times of the day.

So when does it hit?

You mean when did it hit: in many areas of the country, 900MHz 3G has already been switched on. It was used to bolster the O2 network in London during the royal wedding, and starting with major cities including Leeds, Birmingham and Manchester, O2 has been pushing the service out to customers for a while. Just this month, 900MHz 3G went live in Bradford, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leicester, Liverpool, Nottingham, Newcastle and Sheffield.

Can anyone use it?

You bet. As long as you’ve got a 3G phone, you’re all set. There’s no need to change your phone to reap the rewards of zippy 900MHz 3G. Many recent and upcoming tablets and mobiles, such as the lust-worthy HTC Desire S and Samsung Galaxy S 2 support 900MHz 3G. In fact, if you’re reading this on your smartphone, you may be enjoying the speed boost already. How’s that for fast work?

Photo by TaranRampersad

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