A new mobile communications technology known as 5G is being switched on in Belfast today.
Belfast is one of six cities across the UK to be connected to a new 5G network by the company O2 today, alongside Leeds, Cardiff, London, Slough and Edinburgh.
The new 5G technology uses higher frequency radio waves than earlier mobile networks, allowing more devices to have access to the internet at the same time and at faster speeds.
Today’s big switch-on by O2 will mean 5G coverage is available in and around Ulster University, Windsor Park, the city centre, Lanyon Place Railway Station, and Great Victoria Station.
O2 say their 5G rollout will include another 14 UK towns and cities by the end of the year and a total of 50 by summer 2020.
The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Julian Smith, said the introduction of faster mobile internet technology should provide Belfast with an economic boost.
“It’s great that Belfast is one of the six launch locations for O2’s 5G network,” he said.
“High-quality mobile connectivity supports economic growth and business productivity, and 5G will be vital in supporting Northern Ireland’s future prosperity and development.”
Mr Smith added: “I look forward to O2 expanding its 5G network to other parts of Northern Ireland soon.”
Mark Evans, CEO of Telefónica UK, said: “Today is a significant moment for our customers and our business in Belfast as we switch on the O2 5G network.”
He added: “I’m excited about getting it into the hands of our customers.”