Tuesday 5 November 2019 5:47 pm

O2 steps into 5G driverless car testing in London as it grows mobile customer base

O2 will have a hand in an ambitious project to trial driverless cars on London roads, using its 5G network to help test the vehicles in Greenwich.

The mobile phone network, which this morning announced it had hit 34m customers following its 5G rollout last month, said using the technology on the roads could reduce C02 emissions by 330,000 tonnes per year.

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Announcing its third quarter results, O2 said core profit had risen to £489m, a 5.7 per cent increase on the same period last year.

It said 34.1m people are now using its network, a 5.6 per cent annual rise. This includes customers on Tesco Mobile, Sky Mobile, Lycamobile and Giffgaff. The increase helped drive revenue up 4.1 per cent year-on-year.

The announcement comes after the regulator Ofcom last month said it supported a plan proposed by O2, BT, EE, Three and Vodafone to update auction rules for the rollout of 5G.

Mark Evans, chief executive of the UK arm of O2’s parent company Telefonica, said: “As the UK’s largest network, we’re proud of our ability to keep attracting and retaining customers, which ensures a healthy business and drives both top and bottom line growth.

 “Our third quarter performance continues the strong momentum we saw in the first half of the year, powered by a relentless focus on our customers through award-winning coverage and great offerings such as flexible custom plans and limitless data.

“We’re moving at pace with our 5G rollout, already live in six UK cities rising to twenty by the end of the year. 5G offers critical support to the UK’s digital economy, supporting jobs and growth. 

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“That’s why we welcome Ofcom’s recent statement updating the rules for the planned auction of more 5G airwaves. 

“This will help operators to deliver greater value and better connectivity to the public.”