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
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