First operator goes live on ‘pioneering’ mobile infrastructure
The first operator has launched on “groundbreaking” mobile infrastructure that will host various telecommunications services.
EE has joined a connectivity pilot led by Freshwave that will deliver improved 4G and 5G coverage to users along Queen Victoria Street in London.
James Hope, Director of Mobile Radio Access Networks at EE, said:
“High-capacity, super-fast connectivity is essential for consumers and businesses today, with the demand for data and low-latency networks continuing to rise.
We are pleased to be the first operator to go live on this pilot with Freshwave helping to deliver the best possible 4G and 5G services to our City of London customers, even at the busiest times.
The project is a further demonstration of how we are improving our networks to both help digitize and deliver economic prosperity to the UK, and we look forward to expanding this in the future.”
Freshwave has designed bespoke infrastructure that spans 10 sites and is capable of delivering 4G and 5G connectivity for all four of the UK’s mobile operators, a first for the UK.
The solution includes custom broadband antennas, cabinets and columns, and large amounts of dark fiber – built by Netomnia – to each cabinet.
Freshwave CEO Simon Frumkin said:
“We are delighted to reach this milestone in the launch of our true multi-operator neutral hosting network. Shared digital infrastructure is the logical evolution in telecommunications as cities become more connected and smarter.
Companies like Freshwave that use the neutral hosting model help accelerate this connection for everyone, as the model is more cost-effective, greener and less disruptive. I am proud Freshwave is doing what is right by all parties in this area.”
Virgin Media O2 (VMO2) has also signed up to Freshwave’s pilot and is expected to go live in early 2023.
Paul Broome, VMO2 London & South-East Trial Manager, said:
“With the largest outdoor small cell network of any of the major operators, we are excited to partner with Freshwave for this pilot.
Adding extra capacity to our existing legacy solution of over 200 small cells in the City of London will provide further benefit for the ever-increasing data demands of its users.
Outdoor small cells provide a flexible solution for boosting network connectivity and we look forward to going live on the network soon.”
High-density urban areas such as London create demanding conditions for networks that can affect user experiences. Outdoor small cells at street level help relieve pressure by processing some of the demand themselves.
The solution has been designed in collaboration with all four of the UK’s mobile phone operators and other industry partners. Vodafone will join the pilot in Q1 2023.
We reached out to the final operator, Three, about if/when it plans to join its rivals on the pilot. We will update this article if we receive a response.
(Photo by Nejc Soklič on Unsplash)
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