Arqiva, the leading UK communications infrastructure company, 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 recently won 3.4GHz airwaves in the Ofcom spectrum auction to power its 5G services. The Operator unveiled plans to launch a 5G test bed at The O2 in North Greenwich later this year, bringing a 5G experience to the world’s most popular entertainment venue.
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.