O2 Goes Live with 5G in Leeds

  • Leeds residents can use O2’s 5G network from today, as the first 6 launch locations are switched on across the UK 
  • O2 launches 5G on its revolutionary ‘custom plans’, with unlimited data, and no 5G premium 
  • Exclusive partnership with MelodyVR and Oculus from Facebook gives music fans intimate access to gigs and musicians through cutting edge Virtual Reality 
  • Strengthening of the 4G network remains a priority    

17 October 2019: O2 today kicks off its 5G network rollout, with Leeds chosen as one of six launch locations across the UK. The next-generation network will improve capacity and reliability in key areas, including train stations, key business areas and entertainment and sports venues. The launch sees 5G ‘turned on’ in hotspots around Leeds, including areas around: Merrion Shopping Centre; White Rose Shopping Centre; Trinity Shopping Centre; Leeds Train Station; and the University of Leeds.  

To celebrate the launch, O2 released a hypothetical futuristic visual representation of how 5G could shape Leeds over the next 10-15 years, using the new network to create a fully connected smart city, making use of the low latency, super-fast connections of 5G to enable the development of “smart roads” for self-driving cars to operate within the inner city and inter-city drone aircraft to allow for reduced commute times between nearby cities. 

O2’s new 5G network will launch with no premium, including its new ‘Limitless’ tariff, offering consumers unlimited data browsing, as well as its existing Custom plans, which will ensure customers have the flexibility to take advantage of 5G on their terms. O2 has also exclusively partnered with Oculus to explore the endless possibilities of Virtual Reality on 5G, as well as MelodyVR which will bring music lovers closer to the artists they love, creating unforgettable experiences wherever they are. 

Other areas to receive O2’s 5G network at launch are Belfast, Cardiff, London, Slough and Edinburgh. O2’s 5G rollout will continue to reach customers in a further 14 towns and cities by the end of the year and 50 by summer 2020. The new offering will supplement rather than replace today’s award-winning 4G network. O2 invests over £2m a day in its network in areas where customers need it most, laying strong foundations for the 5G service.  

O2 is also working with businesses in the construction, retail, transport and utility sectors to understand how businesses will benefit from 5G. The company is also creating 5G innovation spaces across the country to make next generation 5G test environments, with the ultimate aim of fuelling future innovation to boost the British economy.  

Mark Evans, CEO, Telefónica UK, said: “Today is a significant moment for our customers and our business in Leeds as we switch on the O2 5G network. We’re launching with a range of tariffs that make it easy and fair for customers to access 5G, with flexible plans that cost no more than 4G. We’re also switching on 5G in important parts of towns and cities first, places where it will benefit customers and businesses most. 

I believe 5G is going to revolutionise the way people and businesses use mobile connectivity, unlocking huge possibilities for our economy and society. No one in the country has all the answers today, but I’m excited about getting it into the hands of our customers and by working with leading partners to help shape the future of 5G for the next generation.”  

Tom Riordan, Chief Executive, Leeds City Council, said: “Mobile digital connectivity is essential to businesses and consumers in Leeds, so I am delighted that O2 is launching its 5G network in the city.  5G technology will improve productivity, enable a stronger economy and be an asset that will attract further investment to the city.  Leeds is one of the fastest growing cities in the UK and the arrival of O2’s 5G network will reinforce its position as a leading centre of digital excellence and innovation in the UK.” 

Judith Blake CBE, Leader, Leeds City Council, said:  “O2 has a longstanding presence in Leeds, so it is great that the company has chosen the city to be one of the six launch locations for its 5G network. Following the Leeds Digital Festival in the spring and the growing success of Bruntwood SciTech as a digital hub, O2’s 5G is another technology addition to the city that can increase the strength, competitiveness and resilience of the Leeds economy.” 

Customer-led 5G tariffs
From today, customers will be able to select an O2 5G tariff that suits them, including an Unlimited data option. O2’s industry-leading custom plans allow customers to move from a Refresh tariff onto 5G at any time they choose. 

Flexible plans and unlimited data
Our 5G custom plans give customers control and freedom on the contract term, data allowance and upfront cost for their 5G ready handset. Customers can choose how much they want to pay upfront and how to spread the remaining cost between 3 and 36 months, as well as having the option to flex their 5G data allowance up or down every month to suit their needs. This gives customer the flexibility to be part of the 5th Generation on their terms. 

 Exclusive partnership for music lovers
A leading VR bundle that gives access to a completely new kind of live music experience. An Oculus Go headset plus a 12-month subscription with MelodyVR will transport music lovers from their living rooms to music venues around the world. From epic arena shows at The O2, to intimate studio performances from global superstars to breakout artists; fans will be right at the heart of the action. Tariffs come with 12 months subscription to MelodyVR and an Oculus Go virtual reality headset.  

 5G custom plans (same price and data allowances as our 4G custom plans, exclusive of monthly handset costs) 

5th Generation of Music custom plans 

Each year your Airtime Plan will be adjusted on your April bill by the RPI rate of inflation announced in the preceding Feb. See o2.co.uk/prices. 

5G handsets and a ‘5Guarantee’
O2 currently offers four 5G-enabled devices: Samsung Galaxy S10 5G; Samsung Galaxy Note10+ 5G; Samsung Galaxy A90 (5G); and the Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 5G.  

Customers who purchase the new Apple iPhone 11, Apple iPhone 11 Pro or the Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max smartphone on a 90GB, 120GB or Unlimited tariff can claim a £100 off the device cost when they upgrade to the New Apple Smartphone device in 2020. 

5G network roll-out and ongoing 4G investment
O2’s 5G network will continue to roll out to customers, reaching a total of 20 towns and cities by the end of the year, extending to 50 by summer 2020. O2’s 5G network infrastructure is being rolled out in partnership with Ericsson and Nokia, following a competitive tender earlier this year. 

 The new 5G network will supplement O2’s existing 4G connectivity, which remains the backbone of the network. O2 currently offers 4G in almost 19,000 cities, towns and villages across the UK and in the first half of 2019, it upgraded 4G capacity in a further 500,000 UK postal codes. Earlier this year, O2 announced that it had partnered with other operators to develop the Shared Rural Network (SRN) proposal to increase total UK geographic coverage from 67% to 92%.  

 In total, O2 is now investing over £2m a day in its network. 


 Notes to Editors: 

Additional Information  

5G available in selected areas. 5G device, sim and tariff required to access 5G. 

Unlimited data available on selected handsets and selected SIM Only tariffs. Fair use policy applies, personal and non-commercial usage only. EU roaming capped at 20GB per month, chargeable at 0.4p per MB afterwards. For full terms see o2.co.uk/terms 

Oculus Go 32GB virtual reality headset and 12 month MelodyVR subscription included when 5G device is purchased directly from O2 on the 31GB, 61GB or unlimited 5G O2 Refresh tariff bundle. To activate subscription and arrange delivery of the headset, follow the instructions on the tariff leaflet provided with purchase and complete process by 14 Feb 2020. Proof of purchase may be required. Internet access required. UK delivery only. Tariff may be withdrawn at any time without notice. For full terms visit o2.co.uk/terms. 

iPhone Offer: Get an extra £100 when you upgrade to a new Apple smartphone launched in 2020 by 30th December 2020, by recycling your iPhone 11/Pro/Pro Max directly via O2 Recycle. Extra £100 lost when you trade down a tariff, leave or upgrade during your minimum period. O2 Recycle: Your device must pass our checklist. The value of your trade in will depend on the model and condition. We can transfer the money or you can use the money towards the purchase of your new device. Terms apply see o2recycle.co.uk. 

O2 Refresh custom plans: Direct purchases. Cash price or use a Device Plan, to spread cost of device over 3 to 36 months (excludes dongles). Device cost will remain the same. Upfront cost may apply. Monthly rolling Airtime Plan required for the length of your Device Plan. Pay off your Device Plan at any time. If Airtime Plan ends you will have to pay Device Plan in full. Change your Airtime Plan after 30 days and then once every billing month during your contract, choosing from a selected family of tariffs. Some promo pricing and tariff extras are only available on the starting tariff, are not transferable, and may be lost if you change to an ineligible tariff. ‘Devices subject to availability. 0% APR. Finance subject to status and credit checks. 18+. Direct Debit. Credit provided by Telefónica UK Ltd, SL1 4DX. Telefónica UK is authorised and regulated by the FCA for consumer credit and insurance. Terms apply, see o2.co.uk/terms. 

About O2 

O2 is a mobile network operator and the principal commercial brand of Telefónica UK Limited, which is part of the global telecommunications group Telefónica S.A, headquartered in Spain and operating in Europe, and North, Central and South America.  

O2 is the UK’s favourite network, providing 2G, 3G and 4G services to more than 33 million connections and operating a nationwide O2 Wifi service.  It has been named uSwitch Best Network Coverage provider for two years running, and won Best Network Performance at the Mobile News Awards 2019. Global Wireless Solutions (GWS) named it Best Network for Reliability in 2018. 

The company is the network of choice for mobile virtual network operators such as giffgaff, Sky Mobile and Lyca Mobile as well as managing a 50:50 joint venture with Tesco for Tesco Mobile.  

O2 has around 6,700 employees and over 450 retail stores and sponsors England Rugby, The O2 and 20 O2 Academy music venues across the UK. Through a comprehensive sustainability strategy O2 is also creating work experience opportunities for 16-24 year olds via its GoThinkBig platform, enabling customers to reduce their impact on the environment by recycling their old devices through O2 Recycle and, in partnership with the NSPCC, helping parents to keep their children safe online.  

O2 is the only mobile operator in the 2018 Social Mobility Employer Index and was named as one of the best places to work in the 2018 Glassdoor Employee’s Choice Award 

Telefónica UK Limited is registered in England and Wales. Registration number: 1743099.  Its registered office is at: 260 Bath Road, Slough, Berkshire, SL1 4DX, United Kingdom. 

About MelodyVR 

Melody VR launched in 2018 with a simple mandate: not to replace the live experience, but to harness the power of virtual reality to get people closer to the music they love. 

By using VR technology, the founders realised that they could place fans in the crowd or on-stage with their favourite musicians at live events. From epic stadium shows to intimate studio performances, the possibilities are endless; capacity restrictions are eliminated, music fans can attend otherwise sold-out dates, and the barriers (distance, age, cost, access) that might keep people from experiencing their chosen artists live are swept away. The result? Artists can reach more fans than ever before with a level of intimacy which has previously never been possible. 

MelodyVR is the only licensed VR music platform and has the world’s largest library of immersive and interactive music experiences from the likes of Post Malone, Wiz Khalifa, Kelly Clarkson, Liam Payne, Lewis Capaldi, Panic! At the Disco,