UK Customer Experience Awards winner O2 is making progress on improving connectivity at two of London’s busiest transport stations.

The communications giant is working with Nokia on two Massive MIMO trials at Kings Cross and Marble Arch stations, aimed at enhancing connectivity for O2 customers and paving the way for the future deployment of 5G across the capital.

Massive MIMO technology works by sending multiple beams of data from an antenna to devices, increasing performance and enhancing capacity with the ability to serve more users simultaneously.

By trialling the technology in locations with high levels of data traffic, O2 will be able to boost coverage in these areas whilst also evaluating the technology for future deployment in urban areas. Over 95 million people travel through the Kings Cross St Pancras area every year and over 14 million passed through Marble Arch area last year.

The pilot uses the additional 2.3GHz spectrum that O2 secured earlier this year in the spectrum auction. O2 was the only UK network to secure extra 2.3GHz capacity to boost its existing network

In addition to enhancing current network capacity, the pilot will lay the foundation for the next-generation of mobile connectivity – 5G. Massive MIMO technology is expected to be able to help deliver the demand for increased data usage that is expected once 5G is rolled out. Demand for data has continued to increase in recent years, with the average mobile user consuming 1.9 GB a month last year.

O2 will evaluate the trials with a view to potentially deploying the technology elsewhere in London and beyond to enhance connectivity as the operator continues to modernise its network in cities across the UK.

Brendan O’Reilly CTO at Telefonica UK said: “We recognise that customers’ need for mobile data in London and other urban areas continues to grow at a rapid pace. This is why we are working with Nokia to trial Massive MIMO and to explore the opportunities to provide the increased capacity and denser coverage for our customers, in the areas they need it most. Whether trialling 5G, or ensuring the remotest parts of rural Britain can connect to 4G, O2 is committed to building a truly Mobile Britain.”

O2, which won CX Team of the Year and Best Customer Centric Culture – Strategy/Project at October’s UK Customer Experience Awards finals at Wembley Stadium, invests over £2 million per day to maintain and improve its network so that it can deliver the best mobile experience for its customers.

Earlier this year, Ofcom confirmed that O2 had delivered against its commitment to provide 98 percent indoor 4G coverage and 90 percent geographical landmass mass coverage across the UK.

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