UK council commissions private network for business district
Taking a fresh approach to private networks, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council has contracted Cellnex UK to design and build a 5G private network for its Basing View business district.
The build consists of a 5G core network and a Radio Access Network allowing Cellnex to provide indoor and outdoor connectivity. More than 100 companies – predominantly in professional and financial services – operate from Basing View including firms active in professional and financial services, digital tech, cybersecurity and life sciences sectors.
"I am delighted that Cellnex UK has been given the opportunity to support Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council's vision of a fully connected business community in Basing View," said David Crawford, MD of Cellnex UK.
He added: “This project is the first of its kind, allowing multiple business to tap into a private network in an innovative new solution that presents exciting opportunities for the future. The team at Cellnex UK are currently designing our approach to deliver 5G capabilities to the business park, its operators and customers, and security will be fundamental to that design.”
Cellnex UK, through its Edzcom business, has deployed over 35 private networks across Europe, including ports, airports, mines, manufacturing plants and refineries.
The council's ambition is to create a comprehensive 5G ecosystem focused on commercialisation where businesses can access 5G connectivity to develop, trial, and bring new products, services, and applications to market. The project is supported by the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership and the University of Surrey 5G Innovation Centre, which is no stranger to 5G innovations.
As Capacity has previously reported, the university built the UK's first end-to-end 5G system and the Surrey 5G Innovation Centre built its own 5GSA network, using 100MHz of bandwidth on the 3.5GHz spectrum. Other past achievements have included
Kathy Slack, chief executive of Enterprise M3 said: “I’m thrilled to see the 5G Living Lab come to fruition with funding from Enterprise M3 LEP, bringing a step-change in digital infrastructure to business in Basingstoke. We’ve all had experience of using innovative new digital systems during the pandemic and this new ultra-fast network will enable more businesses in Basing View to build, test, demonstrate and ultimately commercialise new, innovative products, further enhancing Basingstoke’s thriving high-tech economy.”