O2 and Arqiva to deploy 300 small cells in London

16 April 2018 | Natalie Bannerman

O2 and Arqiva, the UK communications infrastructure company, are partnering to deploy up to 300 small cells in London.

In what marks one of the O2’s biggest outdoor small cell deployments to date, the cells once live will provide enhanced mobile data capacity and improved coverage to users in some of the busiest boroughs across the capital.

"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, said Brendan O’Reilly, chief technical officer at O2. "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"

Under the terms of the long-term agreement between the two, the project will leverage Arqiva’s concession contracts with 14 London Boroughs, which include the Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, Richmond upon Thames, Wandsworth, Camden and Lambeth, to name a few.

The 300 small sites will be installed on things like lampposts, to deliver targeted coverage and increased capacity in areas where mobile data demand is high, such as outside train stations and major shopping areas.

"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," added David Crawford, managing director of Telecoms & M2M at Arqiva.

In addition to the immediate benefits the deployment will bring to customers, the two parties say that it also plays the groundwork for the rapid deployment of 5G connectivity when it becomes available. The initial launch sites will be live by summer 2018, with deployment continuing up to the year 2020.

Topics: O2, Arqiva, UK, small cells, London, 5G, Connectivity, Brendan O’Reilly, David Crawford