Virgin Media O2 boosts network at major events

Virgin Media O2 has shared details of the network coverage enhancements it has provided at 17 events so far this summer, with another 14 major events to come.

The company installed temporary sites to boost outdoor coverage and network speeds at locations such as holiday destinations, live sport and music events – including Silverstone and Reading and Leeds festival – to enable more customers to connect at speed in densely populated areas.

In July, Virgin Media O2 deployed a fully-functional temporary ‘cell on wheels’ (COW) in a 24 hours, to support five Terabytes of customer data and 180,000 customer calls around Wembley on the weekend of the Euro 2020 final.

At Silverstone, the delivery of 5G across temporary sites in the area was key in effectively handling a data traffic increase of 67 per cent at the event. Virgin Media O2 has kept three temporary sites in place at the track to support further events this year, including the Silverstone Classic event and Moto GP event this weekend.

At the Scottish Open, Virgin Media O2 rolled out a new piece of special events equipment, the T-24 trailer, which elevates mobile masts by 24 metres. This eliminated the need for additional transition masts to be installed in the area.

Virgin Media O2 has also deployed network boosts at 15 major music festivals across the UK this summer, including All Points East, South West Four (SW4), Reading and Leeds and Wireless Festival. The company is also supporting a 5G-powered hybrid festival combining elements of live, in-person performance, remote collaboration and augmented reality. The festival, due to take place early next year, completed a round of trials this summer, bringing together a group of artists to play together while physically remote.

Emma Evans, head of network experience at Virgin Media O2, said, “At large events our network has to work harder to maintain capacity to give our customers the best possible experience. It was great that this year we were recognised for our network coverage and reliability with GWS ranking us as the most reliable UK network for the third year in a row and Uswitch naming us as the operator with the best network coverage every year since 2018.”

Virgin Media O2 said its events team will now re-focus its attention toward other key calendar moments, including COP26 in Glasgow and Winter Wonderland in London.

Below: the temporary site at Silverstone.

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Charlotte Hathway

Charlotte is the editor of Comms Business and writes content to inform and educate the Channel about the latest technology and business developments. Got a story? Get in touch – charlotte.hathway@markallengroup.com.

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