Bluewater's new indoor 4G coverage
Written by: Philip Mason | Published:

Arqiva has partnered with real estate company Landsec to provide 4G connectivity to the massive Bluewater shopping centre near London

The installation, which is planned to start later this summer, will replace Bluewater’s existing coverage, providing a 2G/3G/4G, five-band in-building system compatible with all UK mobile network operators.

According to Arqiva, the network is designed to extend mobile coverage into Bluewater’s anchor stores as well as connecting 11 remote unit locations throughout the site. This will be achieved through a distributed antenna system.

“The system will comprise of an active RF over fibre master units, located in a brand new common equipment room, with fibre feeding multiple remote units distributed throughout the shopping centre," said Mike Harrison, product manager, Capacity Solutions for In-Building Telecoms at Arqiva. "These are in turn connected to antennas with coaxial cable. The system will support all MNOs and all technologies – 2G, 3G and 4G – as well as all five bands utilised by the MNOs – 800MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, 2.1GHz and 2.6GHz.

“In terms of MNO participation, the system has been designed in accordance with the stringent Joint Operator Technical Specification and has been approved by all UK MNOs. Following this agreement with LandSec, we will finalise contracts with each participating MNO using the multi-site agreements (MSAs) we already have in place with them.

“The system will allow the MNOs to connect to it as they choose. They will be deploying their own radio equipment and backhaul through their normal arrangements, as well as radio base stations and backhaul transmission installed by (or on behalf of) each participating operator.”

Speaking of the roll-out Arqiva’s Nicolas Ott said: “When it comes to the retail experience, fast and efficient connectivity is now as important to today’s shoppers as it is to the retailer’s bottom line.

“Having worked with Bluewater on its mobile connectivity infrastructure for 15 years, we are delighted to be given the opportunity to manage the deployment of this new future-proof 4G in-building system. It is set to treble the system capacity and provide two thirds more spectrum on-site.”

The agreement between Arqiva and Landsec will last 15 years.

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