A new network service provider, The Freshwave Group, launched this week (28 January 2020). It will invest capital and expertise in ways to solve outdoor network challenges, provide neutral host connectivity offerings and in-building cellular connectivity solutions. It also aims to help drive the roll out of 5G digital infrastructure in the UK.
The Freshwave Group brings mobile operators, central and local government and real estate providers together with new collaborative commercial models, including network sharing. Its vision is to make the delivery and operation of digital infrastructure simple, with each division of the business being led by a team of experts focused on indoor, outdoor and mast digital infrastructure.
The Group combines technical telecommunications capability, and commercial savvy from the property sector. With 5,000+ mast site locations, 2,000+ connected buildings and 200+ outdoor networks supported, it already serves a significant portfolio of customers, including the likes of Workspace Group and several central London boroughs and Docklands.
The Group was launched this week by Simon Frumkin, the Group’s newly appointed CEO, who was previously MD of EE’s Emergency Services Network (ESN) Division. The launch was attended by senior leaders from all four mobile network operators, central and local government and real estate providers.
Proving cellular connectivity indoors, particularly for businesses and large organisations, has proved to be a difficult problem to solve. Technically it is not a problem as sophisticated multi-operator small cells are widely available. The difficulty has been to find a viable business model to deliver connectivity solutions for the design, management and operation of, for example, indoor cellular infrastructure. Mobile operators are generally unwilling to pay for indoor coverage, while businesses, developers and building owners, who may well be willing to pay for it, do not have the expertise to deploy the connectivity themselves.
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