O2 and Arqiva to install 300 small cells across London

Mobile Operator O2 and communications infrastructure developer Arqiva have joined forced to increase the quality and range of the mobile internet network in London.

The deal has been helped along by a recent contract won by Arqiva which will allow them to install network devices on public assets like lampposts across several London boroughs. The new partnership is set to tackle areas where there is a high volume of data usage such as transport terminals.

As well as augmenting O2’s current 4G network, the installations will also lay a solid foundation for the mobile operator’s upcoming 5G infrastructure. The two companies will achieve all of this by introducing 300 small cells at various points around London with the first installations to be completed by summer and the development expected to continue until 2020. The small cells act as small transmitters and, although they are far less powerful than base stations, they will play a key part in the 5G rollout due to their relative low cost and easiness to deploy. The wider rollout of small cells will increase the range of mobile networks as well as helping them deal with the ever-increasing demand for data.

Arqiva’s David Crawford said: “New types of mobile infrastructure are now required to meet the needs of the mobile network operators and their customers. As demand for data continues to increase, the requirement for network densification will grow and use of street furniture and small cells will play a critical role in delivering the mobile networks of the future.”