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26th Sep 2017


5G-ready lamp posts in Lambeth

From an early age, I’ve always had a natural desire to learn more about telecommunications and to be a market-leader within a niché, so far, so good! An idea I had over ten years ago was to use existing street furniture as “small-masts” – this is finally happening thanks to an initiative from Arqiva which was given the green light recently from London Borough of Lambeth.

Believe it or not, there are 15,000 lamp posts across The London Borough of Lambeth alone and Arqiva have exclusive rights to turn them into “small-cells” in the preparation for 5G. Other boroughs that have similar progammes in place are Barnet, Brent, Camden, Hammersmith & Fulham, Haringey, Harrow, Hounslow, Islington, Merton, Richmond upon Thames and Wandsworth.

The original plan was to boost mobile capacity where demand is particularly high or improve existing coverage if it’s poor. With 5G only a couple of years away, these small cells will be fundamental to supporting the number of connected devices.

Nicolas Ott, Managing Director of Telecoms & M2M at Arqiva, said: “Today’s consumers and businesses are heavily reliant on a fast, uninterrupted mobile connection – it is a necessity for everyone. Building on our strong heritage in this area, Arqiva is delighted to be working with Lambeth Council in leveraging their street infrastructure for the roll-out of small cells on behalf of the mobile operators in the years to come, when and where it will be needed to increase mobile coverage or capacity. It will allow Lambeth citizens, consumers, visitors and businesses to be better informed, entertained and connected on-the-go. It is also an integral key step in Arqiva’s strategy to be central to the UK’s telecommunications infrastructure – today in 4G, tomorrow in 5G.”

If you read my previous article about Arqiva, you’ll remember they began a 5G FWA (Fixed Wireless Access) trial in Central London – this will provide a better broadband connection than what fibre supplies today.