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Three UK enlists Freshwave for indoor 4G partnership

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Three UK has partnered with connectivity infrastructure provider Freshwave on the operator’s first deployments of the 4G in-building mobile specification.

After successful pilots at two locations in London and at a multinational firm’s headquarters, the approach has now been adopted by Three UK for their 4G indoor connectivity.

Iain Milligan, chief network officer at Three UK, said: “We are investing more than ever in enhancing connectivity and coverage, and already have the UK’s Fastest 5G Network, according to Ookla.

“Indoor focus has been a major priority of ours with the acquisition of additional low frequency spectrum in 2020 and our agreement with Freshwave will further enhance indoor coverage, particularly for business customers.”

80% of mobile calls originate indoors, but modern building materials such as energy-efficient glass make it harder for the outdoor macros signal to penetrate inside.

This leaves many buildings as mobile signal dead zones, which can reduce business productivity.

The Joint Operator Technical Specifications (JOTS) Neutral Host In-Building (NHIB) specification is an agreed standard for connecting shared in-building radio solutions based on 4G small cell technologies.

All four of the UK’s mobile operators participated in creating the specification and it reduces the complexity around a neutral host providing indoor mobile coverage to businesses.

“This is another step forward in making assured indoor mobile connectivity easier for businesses to access around the UK and we’re pleased to have worked with Three UK on this world-leading approach,” said Tom Bennett, CTO at Freshwave.

“We’re excited that Three UK is now also using the specification and that Freshwave is the first company to be the neutral host for multiple operators on the NHIB specification.”

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