O2 prepares for 3G iPhone

More information confirms O2 has ramped up operations for the release of the next-generation iPhone – the company has extended its 3G network to 80 per cent of the UK.

This news was confirmed by UK telecoms regulator, Ofcom, this morning. The move follows Ofcom’s notice to O2 in February that it would shorten its license by four months if it did not comply with its rollout obligation by June 30 2008.

The rollout obligation required each of the five holders of a 3G license to roll out their networks to enable the provision of 3G services to at least 80 per cent of the population from 31 December 2007

O2 acquired its 3G license in 2000 for £4,030m. Ofcom estimated that a reduction of the license term by four months would have been equivalent to a significant financial sanction of at least £40 million.

Until now, O2 has been slow to build its own high-speed network, lagging behind the other 3G license holders, T-Mobile, 3, Orange and Vodafone.

Since introducing iPhone O2 has worked to extend its Edge network system, now – as recent price cuts and the subsequent sell-out of the iPhone in the UK suggest – it seems the network has put infrastructure in place to support the new generation, 3G iPhone.

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