In the UK, O2 has been having problems with the huge amount of data being schlepped around the network by iPhones. O2 CEO Ronan Dunne told the Financial Times that performance of the O2 network had been disappointing since this summer and that the company was trying to cope with the increasing number of mobile apps running on devices such as the iPhone. TUAW reported a multi-day data outage that affected O2 users just a few weeks ago.
Most of the issues have been confined to London, so the company is installing 200 additional base stations to support the increased levels of traffic. Dunne also noted that the company is working with Apple, RIM, and other handset manufacturers to learn more about which applications are causing the heavy demands on the O2 network. O2 has been working with Nokia Siemens Networks to modify the network infrastructure to better handle the combination of voice and data traffic.
While trying to iron out these issues, it appears that O2's parent company, Telefonica, is making moves that could place further demands on the network. Telefonica purchased mobile VoIP company Jajah to add to O2's portfolio of services, and VoIP services are notorious devourers of bandwidth.
In the United States, Verizon can smirk about AT&T's network issues, but O2's problems point out that no mobile operator is immune from the bandwidth-eating apps that are popular on the iPhone platform.