News Release

O2 Selects Cisco for Wi-Fi Network

O2 Wifi hotspots will provide simple, highly secure connections to any mobile device
Sep 12, 2012

London, 12 September 2012; Cisco today announced that it has been selected by O2 to be a key provider for the technology in O2's public Wi-Fi network. The agreement demonstrates O2's commitment to delivering an industry-leading Wi-Fi service for the public and reinforces Cisco's position as the recognised leader in robust, flexible and highly secure wireless networking solutions.

Access to O2 Wifi will be free for all customers, regardless of which provider they use. Rollout of the network has already begun, and to date O2 have deployed in thousands of locations using Cisco® wireless technology.  It is planned that O2 Wifi will cover 15,000 UK locations over the next two years.

Key highlights:

  • O2 Wifi will be available free of charge to customers on any mobile network.
  • By implementing its own Wi-Fi network rather than paying for access to an existing network, O2 will be able to ensure the end-user has a high-quality experience.
  • O2 Wifi hotspot locations will be equipped with Cisco Aironet® 3500 Series Access Points with Cisco CleanAir® capability, the first 802.11n access points to create a self-healing, self-optimising wireless network.  CleanAir™ technology is a system-wide feature of the Cisco SP Wi-Fi solution designed to optimise wireless performance by detecting interference, identifying and locating its source and then making automatic adjustments to help ensure a high-quality service.
  • Cisco will also provide the modular gateway router through the Cisco 887 Integrated Services Router.  Providing Power over Ethernet capabilities, which, combined with integrated Wi-Fi, deliver a powerful solution in a single device, Cisco's in-built security and encryption technologies will allow O2 Wifi hotspots to be deployed safely, quickly and efficiently.
  • O2 Wifi will be controlled and managed using the Cisco Wireless LAN Controller. The modular system can be scaled to monitor and manage a high volume of wireless access points, ensuring a high level of performance and security and providing O2 with the ability to quickly and centrally identify and address any drop in service levels within hotspot locations.

Supporting quotes:

Edwin Paalvast, senior vice president, service provider, EMEAR, Cisco, commented: "As the use of smartphones, tablet computers and other connected devices continues to rise, the consumer demand for fast, efficient and highly secure mobile data access is growing incredibly rapidly. By implementing a carrier-grade next-generation Wi-Fi infrastructure to support the next generation of Wi-Fi mobile devices, O2 is leading a significant shift in the way that Wi-Fi is delivered and consumed. We are delighted to be involved in one of the most ambitious Wi-Fi projects in Europe and we look forward to working with O2 to bring more exciting innovations to mobile services over the next three years and beyond."

Gavin Franks, managing director, O2 Wifi, commented: "O2 Wifi hotspots will bring high quality public wireless internet access to the majority of mobile users. When we decided to roll out a wifi network on this scale, we worked very hard to ensure the network would have the right balance of control, scalability, durability and of course speed.  Cisco's networking technologies and expertise will help us achieve this balance and ensure that O2 Wifi has the very best technological foundation possible, allowing us to deliver the superior customer experience that users have come to expect from O2."

About O2 UK

  • Telefónica O2 UK Limited is a leading communications company for consumers and businesses in the UK, with 22.2 million mobile customers and over 700,000 fixed broadband customers as at 31 December 2011.
  • O2's UK mobile network covers 99% of the UK's population. O2's 3G network covers over 84% of the UK population and is fully HSDPA-enabled, providing speeds of up to 7.2 Mbps for customers with an HSDPA-enabled device.
  • Telefónica Europe also owns 50% of Tesco Mobile, which operates in the UK and Ireland, and 50% of Tchibo Mobilfunk in Germany. 

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