Westminster City Council’s lamp posts will help deliver world-class wireless service to residents, businesses and visitors across the city, finally putting an end to pockets of poor connection known as ‘not-spots’. The Council is harnessing its street assets to boost network capacity and create next-generation infrastructure for the roll-out of high-speed 5G services.
Following a competitive tender, leading wireless infrastructure provider Ontix Limited will deploy unobstrusive “small cell” nodes on the Council’s street furniture, eliminating coverage holes and providing faster connectivity and higher capacity to mobile operators and other wireless network operators. For mobile users, this will deliver much faster speeds for data-intensive services such as video streaming, gaming and mobile browsing.
A pilot wireless small cell network – available for trial by all operators – will be deployed in Trafalgar Square this November, and the rollout across the wider Westminster area is expected to continue during 2019, spanning many of London’s most popular tourist attractions.
In recent years, pressure on Westminster’s legacy network infrastructure has been growing, with operators struggling to access enough suitable rooftop sites to deploy the macro cells they have been using to date.
Cllr David Harvey, Cabinet Member for Economic Development Education and Community at Westminster City Council said:
“Economically, socially and culturally, London is probably the best-connected city in the world. So it stands to reason that the 1.6 million people who live, do business and sightsee across Westminster each day should benefit from the world’s fastest and most reliable wireless service. This new micro-technology will finally relegate not ‘not-spots’ to the digital dustbin of history and Westminster will now embody the UK’s ambition to become a world leader in 5G.”
The Ontix team has been instrumental in the success of small cell deployments in the UK, including a landmark project in the capital.
Antony Tomlinson, Chief Executive of Ontix, said:
“We are very excited to be working together with Westminster City Council on this very significant project for the capital. This is a huge opportunity, and one of the very first of its kind on this scale. 5G promises to deliver a huge impact, socially and economically, but we need to make it a reality. Partnerships like this are where it happens.”
As part of the ten-year deal with Westminster, Ontix will also build a high capacity, neutral-host “Metrohaul” network to deliver 5G-ready connectivity for all operators.