Arqiva and CityFibre are working together on what they claim to be the UK’s largest pilot of wholesale and 5G-ready infrastructure to support the rollout of small cells.
Over the course of the multi-million pound pilot project, the two partners will create a new 15km high-density multi-operator capable fibre network that will provide the bandwidth for mobile network operators (MNOs) to explore advanced technology including centralised C-Ran architecture and 5G. The network consists of a fibre ring with more than 90 cabinets to enable the sharing of the infrastructure.
The companies claim that the fibre network, installed by CityFibre, will provide operators with increased, scalable and cost effective backhaul capacity, giving any MNO the ability to quickly and easily deploy small cells to connect businesses and residents to the 5G network.
“The pilot has enabled us to explore small cell network architecture, density and backhaul requirements,” said a CityFibre spokesperson. “We have used these learnings to validate the suitability of our existing networks to serve 5G roll-outs as well as to further evolve our design process.”
The London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham is home to around 180,000 people living in about 84,000 households in an area of 6.3 square miles. The project partners state that the density of its population will put extra pressure on telecoms connectivity as demand for voice and data continues to grow exponentially.
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