The test will leverage Arqiva’s comprehensive access to street furniture in Hammersmith and Fulham, thanks to a contract it won in 2014

CityFibre and Arqiva have announced plans to conduct the UK’s largest 5G small cell pilot trial in London’s Hammersmith and Fulham borough.

The multi million pound initiative will involve the building of a brand new 15km high density fibre network. The network will be multi operator capable and will allow mobile network operators to explore advanced technologies such as centralised C-Ran architecture and 5G.

“This pilot network is a massive step forward for mobile and fixed wireless connectivity in London. We are showing that ubiquitous high-speed connections using dark fibre and small cells are possible and we are delighted to be leading the way with our pilot in Hammersmith & Fulham. As demand for data continues to increase exponentially, the pressures on networks will continue to grow and densification using street furniture and small cells is critical to deliver the network of the future," said David Crawford, managing director of Telecoms & M2M at Arqiva.

“Our aim with this project is to show the business and consumer benefits of this architecture and a successful rollout in Hammersmith & Fulham can be the prelude to a wider deployment in future.”

The new network will be comprised of a fibre ring with over 90 cabinets, to facilitate easy access and the sharing of infrastructure. Cityfibre’s network will provide MNOs with scalable, cost effective backhaul operations, allowing them to deploy the small cells necessary to connect customers to their 5G networks.

“This has been an invaluable exercise to demonstrate the capability of our fibre networks to support the next generation of 5G small cells and services. 5G networks will only work on fibre and a new modern infrastructure is needed at scale to support them. With our £2.5bn rollout of full fibre infrastructure to 5 million homes already underway, we are creating a 5G-ready network platform nationwide that will provide the best network at the best economics for mobile network operators,” said Rob Hamlin, commercial director at CityFibre.

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