O2 announces major free speed upgrade for millions of customers – is your area on the list?


O2 has switched on a mega mobile upgrade that makes connection speeds even faster.

The network operator has activated its “5G Standalone” in 14 cities across the UK.


Upgrade will only work on certain phones like the Samsung Galaxy S24

And it’ll be available to millions of customers at no extra cost.

5G Standalone is the fastest network technology available meaning apps and videos will load much zippier with improved latency.

This new technology will future proof our mobile network for years to come

Jeanie YorkVirgin Media O2

When connected to 5G Standalone you essentially receive the truest form of 5G there is.

Currently, most of the 5G you see is actually Non-Standalone, which is some 4G tech mixed in with 5G upgrades, therefore connections aren’t at their full speed potential.

The move makes Virgin Media O2 the second major UK mobile operator after Vodafone to activate a commercial 5G Standalone service, according to ISPreview.

However, it will only work if you’ve got a compatible smartphone that supports 5G Standalone.

You also need the latest SIM, known as an R15 SIM.

You can check and request a new one from your network provider.

Most read in Phones & Gadgets

The phones that work with 5G Standalone currently are:

  • Samsung S24  
  • Samsung S24+
  • Samsung S24 Ultra           
  • Samsung Galaxy S23 FE  
  • Samsung Galaxy S23+  
  • Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra 
  • Samsung Galaxy A34 5G 
  • Samsung Galaxy A54 5G  
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5 5G            
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 5G          
  • Samsung Galaxy S22        
  • Samsung Galaxy S22+  
  • Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra             
  • Samsung Galaxy S21 5G  
  • Samsung Galaxy S21+ 5G
  • Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G       
  • Sony Xperia 1 V     
  • Sony Xperia 5 V          
  • Samsung Galaxy S23
  • Netgear M6       
  • Samsung A25      
The Samsung Galaxy S24 has a number of big AI features

“The launch of 5G Standalone is the culmination of a multi-year programme and is a real leap forward in the evolution of our mobile network,” said Jeanie York, Chief Technology Officer at Virgin Media O2.

“While it’s still early days, our customer-centric rollout will continue throughout 2024 with some consumer customers seeing the immediate benefits including increased reliability and coverage.

“This new technology will future proof our mobile network for years to come and paves the way for exciting customer led innovations in the future.”

5G Standalone is now available in the following cities:

  • Manchester
  • Liverpool
  • London
  • Lincoln
  • Birmingham
  • Sheffield
  • Glasgow
  • Newcastle
  • Leeds
  • York
  • Belfast
  • Cardiff
  • Nottingham
  • Slough

Must-know Android tips to boost your phone

Get the most out of your Android smartphone with these little-known hacks:

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