British mobile network operator (MNO) EE said it has successfully deployed 200 new small cells across its network to boost capacity in high demand areas, in a move it claims will allow customers to benefit from download speeds of up to 300Mbps.
Working in partnership with Finnish vendor Nokia, the MNO used advanced network analytics to identify areas where small cells would deliver a boost to network performance, with a 4G small cell solution then deployed which uses multiple spectrum bands to give a better experience. Meanwhile, EE noted that its licensed 1800MHz and 2600Mhz spectrum bands had been coupled with unlicensed 5GHz spectrum, to deliver standout speeds in densely congested areas. As well as Leeds, London and Manchester, EE and Nokia also brought its new small cells online in parts of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool, Newcastle, Nottingham and Scarborough. Looking ahead, ‘hundreds’ more small cell deployments are planned in the next 18 months, as EE uses the technology to bring additional network capacity to more locations, including some summer hotspots. Further, it also plans to extend the use of small cells to its 5G network, with trials expected to begin soon.
Commenting on the development, the MNOs’ director of mobile networks, David Salam, said: ‘EE has been the number one network for eight years running and we are committed to maintaining the best possible customer experience. Investment and innovation are the key to consistent network improvement and this partnership with Nokia, to deploy small cells to support our 4G – and in the future, 5G – network, is a new solution to maintain our network leadership in the UK.’