ONS Picks Virgin Media O2 Business to Provide UK Mobility Data

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has picked broadband and mobile operator Virgin Media and O2 (VMO2 Business) to be their strategic partner for providing mobility data, which is to be used to support the UK Government’s work at national and local levels, providing insights that reveal population dynamics, travel patterns, and other movement trends.

The deal means that Mobile network insights from VMO2 Business’ anonymised and aggregated data service, O2 Motion, will be available on the Integrated Data Service (IDS). This is a cloud-based cross-government data sharing service delivered by ONS, to enable faster and more efficient decision-making across key policy areas.

In addition, data from O2 Motion will also be integrated with ONS surveys and administrative data sources to create a series of future publications covering topics like small area population estimates. These will be accessible on the ONS website as part of a regular release, which will be publicly available.

Geoff Wappett, Head of AI and Data Insights at VMO2 Business, said:

“We are proud to extend our partnership with the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and to integrate our aggregated and anonymised O2 Motion data into their Integrated Data Service (IDS). Generated from billions of daily network events, our mobile data will provide governmental organisations and officials with reliable information to inform their work addressing major societal challenges at pace. Beyond numbers, the IDS platform and our wider work with ONS will ensure quality insights are easily accessible to support data-driven decision making.”

Currently operating in public beta, the IDS platform and data releases are due to scale at pace over the coming months with a planned pipeline of additional and transformational capability, data, projects and users onboarded. The O2 Motion data is already available on the platform and will be updated on a weekly basis to enable real time analysis.

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