Arqiva and O2 have announced plans to deploy up to 300 small cells across London, one of the biggest outdoor small cell deployments by O2 in the UK to date. The small cells, once installed, will provide enhanced mobile data capacity and coverage to those living and working in some of the capital’s busiest boroughs.
The long term agreement will make use of some of Arqiva’s comprehensive concession contracts with 14 of the London Boroughs, including the Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, Richmond upon Thames, Wandsworth, Camden and Lambeth, to name a few. Initial sites will be live by the summer 2018, with deployment continuing up to 2020.
The 300 small cells will be installed on street assets, such as lampposts, to deliver targeted coverage and increased capacity in areas where mobile data demand is particularly high, for example outside transport hubs and major shopping areas.
In addition to its immediate customer benefits, the agreement will lay the foundations for a rapid deployment of 5G connectivity when it becomes available. O2 research recently revealed that 5G will ‘update the operating system’ of the UK’s cities, making them smarter and creating tangible benefits for citizens and local councils – as well as generating £6 billion productivity savings for the UK economy.
David Crawford, Managing Director, Telecoms & M2M at Arqiva, said: “New types of mobile infrastructure are now required to meet the needs of the mobile network operators and their customers. As demand for data continues to increase, the requirement for network densification will grow and use of street furniture and small cells will play a critical role in delivering the mobile networks of the future.
“The agreement between O2 and Arqiva represents the start of this journey and we look forward to working together to deliver an enhanced experience for O2 customers.”
Brendan O’Reilly, Chief Technical Officer, O2, said: “National 5G infrastructure – when it arrives in a few years’ time – will not only have a crucial impact on our economy, it will change the way we live our lives. Our partnership with Arqiva reflects this belief and demonstrates our commitment to exploring opportunities to provide the increased capacity and denser coverage our customers deserve in the areas they need it most. Only by working together, with industry partners, regulators, and government policy makers, will we be able to continue delivering the best for our customers and to help the UK maintain the digital leadership we have all worked so hard to establish”.
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