Project Beacon, the joint undertaking between Vodafone and Telefónica UK (parent company of O2) to upgrade all sites across both networks to 4G is virtually complete, with around 97% of sites upgraded as of the end of 2017.
The two companies have been working with one another for several years now on sharing the physical location of their masts to deliver 4G, and improved 2G and 3G coverage to the whole of the UK.
Under Project Beacon, the UK was divided into two roughly equal halves, with Vodafone taking responsibility for network maintenance in the West of the UK and Wales, and Telefónica looking after the East, including Northern Ireland.
During the project, into which Vodafone have invested £2 billion, around 400 base stations were upgraded every month. The masts of both networks were combined, with duplicate masts being removed and new ones erected where necessary, creating a joint estate of more than 18,000 sites.
There are still a very small number of sites to be completed – mainly in remote locations where fibre, essential to support the latest network technology is not yet installed, but Vodafone expect these to be 4G ready by summer 2018.
The successful conclusion of Project Beacon is good news for Vodafone customers for three key reasons:
We all consume data differently, and whether you’re a light, medium or heavy data user will depend on what you use your mobile for. If you’re regularly downloading big files, sending large email attachments, holding video calls while you’re on the move, or if your mobile is for personal as well as business use, and you use it to stream music or movies for example – your usage is likely to be at the higher end of the scale, but even so, you could well be overestimating how much data you really need.
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