O2 Blames Smartphone Usage for Network Issues in London

Says it is working on solving the problem

Wireless carrier O2 seems to have been struck with a series of network problems lately, and Ronan Dunne, CEO of O2 UK, has recently apologized to users for the performance of the company's airwaves in London. It seems that O2's London network cracked after being overwhelmed by bandwidth-hungry smartphones, at least this is the official explanation the carrier provided.

A recent article on Financial Times notes that the carrier's head stated that he was disappointed with the performance of the network over the past six months, and that the carrier was already working on fixing the issues. However, the second half of the ongoing year proved to be a very difficult period of time for the company, mainly due to an increase in data transfers over its network.

O2's smartphone subscribers, including the owners of an Apple iPhone, are said to have increased the use of apps that pull data off the Internet, which led to network chock-ups. According to Dunne, the problems that resulted from the explosion in data usage were only experienced in London, and they resulted in users not being able to make phone calls, download files on their devices, and more.

“Where we haven’t met our own high standards then there’s no question, we apologize to customers for that fact,” said Dunne. “But it would be wrong to say that O2 has failed its customers en masse.” O2's CEO also mentioned that the company was already working on addressing the problems, and that the performance of its London network increased during December.

There are three measures that O2 will take in confronting with these network issues, it seems, including software upgrades for a better management of voice calls and data usage on the network, and the installation of 200 additional mobile base stations in London. Moreover, it also intends to work with “handset manufacturers, including Apple and Research In Motion, maker of the BlackBerry, to learn about applications that could place heavy demands on the network,” as FT notes.

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