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O2 ups 3G speeds by 30%

Capacity boost follows 900MHz switch-on

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O2 has begun sending HSPA 3G through the 900MHz band, using it to up the capacity of its 3G service

The 900MHz band was originally earmarked for GSM usage, but in January comms watchdog Ofcom gave O2 the go-ahead to route UMTS/WCDMA traffic through the band.

That, O2 said today, could give it 50 per cent more data transfer capacity, speeding the network for its existing customers by, it claimed, 30 per cent.

Well, some of them. The Spanish-owned operator has only activated 3G over 900MHz in London, Leeds, Manchester and Birmingham, but it promised more will follow "in the coming months".

Even if you are geographically able to take advantage of "3G900", as O2 calls the band, you may not have a handset capable of using it. Of the gadgets that can tap into the new bandwidth, O2 named only the iPhone 4 and iPad 2 - one of which isn't even available here yet.

To those two, we can add the HTC Desire, the Samsung Galaxy S, the Nokia 5800 and the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 family.

O2 tells us these devices will connect to and use the 900MHz band automatically. ®

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