O2, the U.K.'s largest mobile operator, said last week that data on its network had increased twentyfold in the past year, according to a report by Mobile Today. The report also quotes O2 as saying: "We have a small number of “hotspots” where customers may have lower levels of service than they expect. Typical symptoms include calls going straight to voicemail, dropped calls or difficulty in establishing a data connection." source: Mobile Today
To boost capacity, the operator, which is selling Apple's iPhone in the U.K., said it plans to add 200 new base stations in London alone in the next 12 months, 40 of which will be live by Christmas 2009. In 2010, O2 said other areas of the UK will see similar developments.
Derek McManus, Chief Technology Officer for O2 in the UK said: “In the past 12 months the mobile industry has seen an unprecedented change in demand [....] on mobile data networks. To put this in context, watching a YouTube video on a smartphone can use the same capacity on the network as sending 500,000 text messages simultaneously. source: O2 statement