Press Release

Cambridge Communication Systems (CCS) Limited today announces that its Metnet solution has been selected to provide neutral host backhaul for a new, ultra-fast next-generation wireless network being deployed to serve the businesses, residents and visitors of the Square Mile in London. The project – which includes the single biggest WiFi investment in the City to date – has been awarded by City of London Corporation to CTIL, working in partnership with Telefónica O2.

The new wireless network includes a combination of WiFi for free public access – now live – and 4G small cells, available to carry traffic for all UK MNOs. Small cells and WiFi access points are being deployed on street furniture including lampposts, street signs, and CCTV columns, to improve wireless coverage and capacity in the heart of London’s financial centre.

The neutral host backhaul of the WiFi and small cells network is built on CCS Metnet – the world’s only self-organising 5G microwave backhaul – operating in the licensed area-based 28GHz band. Fibre will also be deployed at strategic points to aggregate the traffic from the Metnet nodes for connectivity into the WiFi and small cell core networks. Metnet was selected as the backhaul backbone having satisfied all the key requirements for deployment in a dense urban area for neutral host WiFi and small cell connectivity. Based on a unique and future-proof self-organising mesh architecture, Metnet is quick to deploy, easy to scale, and offers high capacity and low latency coupled with high availability and resilience, robust synchronisation and lowest total cost of ownership. Metnet units are small and discreet making them suitable for deployment in towns and cities at street level.

The Square Mile deployment delivers a dense and advanced microwave and access network, providing next-generation coverage and capacity. The ultra-fast WiFi network service is now launched, and the small cell deployment is currently underway.

Derek McManus, Chief Operating Officer at O2 said: “We’re very proud to be delivering a world-class infrastructure project, in conjunction with CCS. Reliable, high performance backhaul is absolutely key to realising the quality of wireless service that’s now desired by businesses and consumers in the City of London. Using this solution we’re able to give people what they need wherever they are in the area – reliable and high speed internet on the go. ”

Commenting on the project, CCS CEO Steve Greaves said: “We are very excited to be deploying Metnet to enable enhanced wireless coverage and performance in the number one global financial centre. The Square Mile’s tall buildings and narrow streets have posed significant mobile service problems for the City’s 400,000 workers and 10 million annual visitors – issues that our self-organising mesh-based Metnet system is uniquely positioned to solve. This solution delivers a significant boost in browsing speeds, and offer the ability to access high-bandwidth services – such as video streaming – on demand over a free Wi-Fi network.”