• O2 provides vital network connectivity to over 1,600 vaccination centres
  • Thousands of devices utilised by NHS England to run the centres
  • O2’s store ‘Gurus’ also helped to set up IT infrastructure & support staff

O2 has revealed details of its support to NHS England as the significant milestone of 15 million vaccinations was announced over the weekend. O2 was able to build on its existing business relationship with NHS England to provide a comprehensive and resilient network package to ensure every site stays connected throughout the programme.

NHS England received a range of network services and hardware from O2 to help manage the mammoth vaccination project, delivered at an unprecedented scale (over 1,600 sites) and to a tight timeframe.

In preparation for launch before Christmas, O2 analysed and developed network capabilities at every site, including coverage analysis and simulation, focusing on customer experience and monitoring congestion and performance.

O2 then continued to monitor each site, using a real-time status checker and dashboard customised for each location, to ensure fast and efficient responses to any issues reported. As a further fail-safe, O2 had a further range of solutions such as mobile vans and antennas to deploy as needed to maintain service at the sites.

O2 also supplied tens of thousands of devices to be used at the sites, including: laptops, iPads built for NHS use, WiFi routers, WiFi dongles, printers; scanners; and Telefonica sims that enabled roaming across all networks, part of its Smart Connect portfolio.

These devices were connected to an optimised network service and were used for multiple services including: the registering of visitors via iPads and laptops managed by NHS staff; the recording of results and data from the tests; real-time data transition between the centres, local hospitals and NHS Digital HQ; and services to support digital security.

Jo Bertram, MD of Business at O2, said, “I’m incredibly proud of the support we have been able to give to NHS England during what has been the largest collaborative national effort since WWII. Our operations and business teams, as well as our own store Gurus being on hand to provide IT support, have gone over and above in what was a pressurised and dynamic situation. But the real heroes are the frontline NHS staff and volunteers, who have made a truly herculean effort.

“We remain committed to working with NHS England in continuing to support this rollout to ensure the vaccinations maintain this early momentum. This truly collaborative effort between multiple stakeholders is a testament to what can be achieved together when our backs are against the wall.”

Over half of UK police forces, 50 NHS trusts and over a third of the UK’s local councils now use O2’s services.



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