Freshwave have announced that they will add over 40 new sites to their existing coverage area in Croydon, South London.
Freshwave is a network builder that specialises in 5G and 4G mobile cell deployments that can often be shared by other operators.
A number of small cells were placed in Croydon last year. This was made possible by an open access agreement with Croydon Council in which Freshwave was granted permission to place small cells on any of the 20,000+ council-owned assets.
A similar approach could potentially open the door to 5G adoption in future.
The new sites will increase coverage in areas such as Norwood Junction station, Thornton Heath, and also retail areas such as Purley High Street.
The trial phase's original locations included coverage of East Croydon station, the main high street, and Croydon University Hospital. West Valley Hospital off Wellesley Road was also another original trial location.
This non-exclusive approach may make it easier and faster to increase mobile network coverage. It will benefit local residents and businesses, and improve digital inclusion.
Manju Shahul-Hameed, a local Councillor, said: “We’re pleased that this programme has proved such a success and will now be extended to benefit even more residents, businesses and visitors around Croydon.
“Mobile connectivity is key for the local economy, which is why it features in the council’s digital strategy and why we’ll continue to work in innovative ways to deliver it to the area.”
CEO of Freshwave, Simon Frumkin, said: “It’s great that this pioneering open access approach has been such a success in Croydon. Smart cities need the right connectivity and the open access model can really speed up the process for turning planned improvements into a reality that make a noticeable difference to local residents and businesses. We’re looking forward to our ongoing collaboration with Croydon Council.”
The rollout will see 30 new sites installed in the borough by September 2021, with other sites following later in locations such as high streets, markets and smaller transport hubs.
Council officers are also liaising with other network builders interested in further developing open access 4G connectivity in the borough.
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