VMO2 completes UK-wide gigabit upgrade
Written by: Richard Hook | Published:

Virgin Media O2 has announced the completion of its nationwide gigabit upgrade to achieve 1130Mbps download and 52Mbps upload speeds across 15.5 million properties in the UK.

The “milestone” move, which VMO2 chief executive Lutz Schuler claimed was achieved “four years ahead of schedule”, means the group’s download speeds are 22 times faster than the country’s national average of 50.4Mbps according to regulator Ofcom.

VM02, which became the UK’s largest telecoms provider following a £31 billion merger in June, claimed it has helped increase the UK’s average broadband speed by 50% since September 2019 when it first rolled out its gigabit service.

Schuler said: “Just two years ago we set out to spearhead the UK’s gigabit revolution and today we’ve delivered. Our investment to bring gigabit broadband to every home on our network has catapulted the UK’s digital infrastructure forward by a decade and forced others to up their game.

“Having reached this major milestone in just two years, we’re doubling down on our mission to upgrade the UK by continuing to innovate and invest in our network to support the technologies of tomorrow – there’s no slowing down at Virgin Media O2.”

As part of a proposed £10bn investment in network technology, the company is currently trialling connections that deliver speeds of 2.2Gbps using its existing network technology. VM02’s broadband network is based on DOCSIS 3.1 (D3.1) technology where upload speeds are restricted to only 52Mbps compared to a twenty-times greater download speed. D3.1 uses Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM), which can encode data by using multiple carrier frequencies, and boosts the amount of radio spectrum up to 200MHz.

Earlier this year, VM02 announced plans to upgrade its entire network to full fibre with symmetrical upload and download speeds by 2028 and began trials with Samsung’s 4G and 5G telecoms equipment on its live mobile network.

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